Colin Charvis reckons it is too soon to write off the World Champions. Wales's Captain courageous is expecting to face the brunt of a fierce backlash at Twickenham in two weeks time following England's shock defeat to Ireland. Despite pushing France all the way, Charvis admits it will take another huge improvement to topple the Rugby World Cup winners in their own back yard.
"Ireland's victory was a double edged sword for us, if they were on a role from the Rugby World Cup then they would be flying high but now we will face the back lash," said Charvis. "Lawrence Dallaglio has already warned Wales that's what we will face and that is only to be expected.
"Ireland showed one way to beat them and I've never seen an English line out so disrupted as they were by Ireland and we will take heart from that, but we will have to find another because they are sure to tighten up the areas in which they were exposed.
"So we are well aware that there's a lot of work to do if we can hope to compete with the World Champions. They are still a great team, even without a couple of key players, and I don't think Saturday was a true reflection of the quality in their side.
"I'm sure they will be a lot stronger in two weeks time but we're going to Twickenham with the attitude to do well."
Charvis, still plying his trade in France with second division minnows, Tarbes, gave a gutsy personal display after twice leaving the field against France with a nose injury. He was forced to defend his decision to twice opt for a scrum rather than three points at a crucial moment, despite problems in the front row, only to come away with nothing.
"We thought we had a chance out wide so we wanted to take their forwards out of the equation but drawing them into a scrum," said Charvis. "I don't have any regrets over the decision though I'm sure pundits will blast me or the other players for suggesting it, but it's something that has worked in the past.
"No one complained when we chose a line out against England in the Rugby World Cup and scored. Rugby is about taking opportunities and we saw one there and unfortunately it just didn't come off.
"We were obviously disappointed to lose. The French are reaching for the Grand Slam and would have been boosted by the England defeat. Just like a good cricket team they just kept the scoreboard ticking over, but we took the battle to them and I'm proud of the players for the way we came back with courage and guile."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.