There was a buzz of expectancy in the air this week as the Welsh squad prepare for this season's Six Nations and beyond.
Speaking at the purpose built Welsh training facility in the Vale of Glamorgan, the mood of the players was positive and determined, as they readied themselves for the imminent challenge of the Six Nations.
'I'm looking forward to this seasons Six Nations, its gonna be a great tournament, as it always it, there's a great mystique about it." said former skipper Rob Howley.
"Everyone will have seen from the squad announcement that there's new names in the side, many youngsters have come through over the last few years, many have been part of the A team set-up. It will be with great interest to see how they perform in the Six Nations because there's no other place like the Six Nations. Fingers crossed for everyone who's making their debut, I'm sure its going to mean great times for Wales.
British Lion Dafydd James spoke of the immense feeling of pride he gets when donning the red jersey of Wales. "'It's a great honour to play against any international side, so I'm really looking forward to playing Ireland this Sunday, to take the field with the red jersey on will be a special moment once again'
"My ambitions beyond this tournament are to be selected for the World Cup squad. As a group we need to establish ourselves within the top four in the World, my goal, and I'm sure it's everyone else's is to do exceptionally well in the Six Nations Championship, and go on and win the World Cup."
Newport prop Chris Anthony hoped to be involved in the international set up in the future,
"In the next couple of years I'd like to play regularly for Wales and keep my position"
Cardiff's open side flanker Martyn Williams has an eye on the future as well, expressing his wish to stay in the squad for the World Cup and 2005 Lion's tour of South Africa. If he continues to catch the eye as he has this season, then his place should be assured.
"I'm really looking forward to taking on the Irish in Lansdowne road," he said "The first game is always the biggest and the toughest, so it's a massive challenge for the squad and we can't wait to play.
I'm looking forward to the England game most, because they always think they're better than us! It's a love hate relationship!' joked Hardman Robyn McBryde.
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