Howley targets World Cup Final

Date published: October 14 2015

Wales backs coach Rob Howley still harbours hopes of qualifying for a World Cup final this year, despite the daunting journey that will face his team during the knockout phase of the tournament.

On Saturday, Wales will play against a highly competent South African team at Twickenham and should they emerge from that fixture unscathed they face the prospect of playing against France or New Zealand in the last four.

During their last campaign Wales were knocked out of the tournament by France in the semi-final. Howley however thinks his team can go one better than that this time around.

"What happened to us back in 2011 in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup [when Wales lost by a point to France], we want to better that and get to a Rugby World Cup final," said Howley.

However, he does also acknowledge that it will be an enormous undertaking and that the tough task starts this weekend against the Springboks.

"The attitude of our players has been exemplary, fantastic – we've got a huge task this Saturday and you don't look beyond that," added Howley.

Howley thinks that his players' ability to negotiate a kicking game could play a significant role in the outcome against South Africa, given that they are heavily reliant on that brand of rugby.

"I think it'll be a different game on the weekend, I think it'll be a huge kicking game," said Howley.

What that does also mean is that opportunities to attack will be few and far between at Twickenham. Patience will surely be a key word.

"I think it'll be an aerial battle and there will not be many opportunities," said the Wales assistant.