James Hook reckons Wales are in great shape for their daunting summer tour to New Zealand following the comfortable 33-10 Six Nations home win over Italy.
Hook grabbed a double for Warren Gatland's men, who cut lose in the second half at the Millennium Stadium, running in three tries against the Azzurri.
Wales' now face world champions South Africa on June 5 in Cardiff before Kiwi Gatland returns to his native homeland for a two-Test tour.
But, despite finishing fourth in the championship, British Lions utility back Hook believes the Dragons can compete against the very best in the world.
Hook said: "The win will give us great confidence going into the summer tour in New Zealand.We know we have a lot to work on but we have beaten quality opposition and can build on this.
"It is nice to have South Africa first up and we hope to get a result here before a massive tour to New Zealand.
"We have had a disappointing Six Nations campaign but the games in the summer are all massive. We want to give the players, coaches and supporters what they deserve. We are looking forward to it."
Prior to the clash in Cardiff, Gatland admitted jobs were on the line for himself and his coaching staff following a below-par campaign as Wales set out to avoid collecting the dreaded wooden spoon.
But Hook insists the under-pressure Wales squad will firmly stick together as they prepare for the 2011 World Cup. He said: "We want to do well for the coaches and the team in every game and today was no different. But, to be honest, we do not think about things like that."
Wales welcomed back fit-again Mike Phillips for his first Test start since starring for the Lions in South Africa last summer.And the Ospreys scrum-half, who has been out since October with an ankle injury, admitted his relief following his successful return to the international stage.
Phillips said: "I really enjoyed it. The Lions was a great experience but it was great to be back involved with the squad and team. I have been working really hard and always focussed on returning. I felt really fit and strong. It was important for me to come back and show what I can do. "It was nice to have a start as it has been frustrating watching the Six Nations on television. Playing for Wales is always a dream come true. I wanted to lift the tempo and bring experience to the rest of the lads. We wanted to be positive as a team.
"The first 20-30 minutes were tough but we knew we could break them down. It was nice. It's been frustrating watching the Six Nations and it's great to be involved again. Playing for Wales is always a dream come true."
While Phillips has played a bit-part in Wales' fortunes throughout a mixed campaign, the confident number nine highlighted the frustration of the squad. "It's been a frustrating season for Wales. On the whole the campaign has been disappointing," he said.
"But it's nice to finish on a high with some confidence and great to get a win. We can build for the summer tour but before then we will get up for the rest of the season.
"The Ospreys have a big European game at Biarritz and that's the next big one for us. We need a big performance and perform well before the tour."
Italy finished bottom of the table following Scotland's shock win against Ireland at Croke Park. Italy captain Leonardo Ghiraldini said: "It's been a great honour to lead the side in Sergio Parisse's absence. "We have got a good bunch of players and it was a great pleasure to lead the side.
"We were disrupted this week with injuries and we lost even more players during the game. But I'm proud of the way we defended as a team."
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.