With the 2023 Rugby World Cup quickly coming into focus, Rugby’s top nations have been planning their road map to October’s final in Paris.
One team that has faced more obstacles than any other tier-one nation has been Wales.
Having seen several seasoned veterans retire whilst the game has been caught up in disarray through mismanagement and financial issues.
Warren Gatland’s side has all but been written off by both the rugby public and pundits alike as a team likely to be dumped out at the pool stages.
Staring down a mountainous task of facing Australia, Georgia and Fiji in Pool C, this is the first time Wales are not expected to clear their group since at least 2003.
Qualifying for two semi-finals during Gatland’s first spell in charge, the squad he has inherited is in a state of flux, bordering on rebuilding with limited depth.
Given the Welsh lost to Australia and Georgia last season, and Fiji has announced a squad stacked with talent, one can understand the logic that they will struggle.
On the flipside of this there are inklings to point towards Wales overperforming in many people’s estimation.
Despite the negativity around the camp, there are still several Welsh players who, on their day, have the ability to be world-class.
Notably, of this group, a significant portion are closer to the beginning of their careers than the end.
Leading the charge are young talented players such as Louis Rees-Zammit, Tommy Reffell, Jac Morgan Dafydd Jenkins Mason Grady, Max Llewellyn, Rio Dyer and Sam Costelow.
All these players are under 25 years old and have the ability to form the backbone of the Welsh squad going forward.
Not waiting for their time to come, these players are ready to take over the mantle at this World Cup.
Sprinkling in their veteran players who are ready for one more go around, and suddenly Wales may well arrive in France with a well-balanced and motivated squad.
Having recently released a video of their training camp where the full team can be seen putting in the work in military-style training. It is clear despite all of the uncertainty surrounding Welsh Rugby; their players are ready to put themselves on the line to bring joy to the Welsh public.