Wales can win World Cup – Gatland

Date published: March 22 2015

Despite the disappointment of missing out on the Six Nations title, Wales coach Warren Gatland insists his team has the potential to be world champions.

The blistering second half performance in Rome saw Wales do everything they could to snatch the Six Nations crown away from Ireland and England.

Wales led only 14-13 at halftime, but broke Italian resistance soon after halftime and rushed to win 61-13.

"It was a great second-half performance, and the biggest away win for Wales in the Six Nations is another milestone for these guys," Wales coach Warren Gatland.

"We dug in there, and 60 points is not bad. "

Wales led only 14-13 at halftime, but broke Italian resistance soon after halftime and rushed to 61-13.

"We knew sitting in the box if we scored a couple of tries to get ahead of them we would break their spirit," said Gatland.

"I'm a little bit gutted about that last try but you can't question the performance, effort and commitment of the boys.

"I think we've improved as the tournament has gone on.

"We can look forward to the World Cup now and we know we're in such a tough group.

"But if we've got the players fit and available we're good enough to come out of that group and even the win the World Cup."

"We won't go into the World Cup with any fears. We have momentum and all the confidence that goes with that.

"We know that when we spend time together we can play some rugby. There’s no fear for us playing at Twickenham against England or Australia.

"We'll be in good shape physically. I think we can go there with real belief that we can get out of that group. We've got those teams at four, five and six in the world all in the same group. So we know how tough it will be – and I don't think we should underestimate what Fiji could do with a bit of preparation. It’s unfortunate that you're going to have a big team lost to the early rounds, but that’s what we have. We're confident we'll get out of it.”

Italy helped Wales' cause by playing for 20 minutes a man down, conceding five tries in that time, and tackling poorly, if at all.

"After the victory against Scotland, we have gone backwards in the past two matches," said Italy coach Jacques Brunel.

"I don't know if we're backwards in respect to last year. We'll evaluate our performances, the management, the players, and everything.

"It's also a humiliation for me. We're going out with an incomprehensible result. But I can't do an evaluation now. I'll do it in the week, calmly."