Rugby

Wales in better shape than 2011 - Warburton

2015-08-18 13:19
Sam Warburton (AFP)

Cardiff - Wales are in excellent shape for a Rugby World Cup campaign that begins with a tough group including England and Australia, according to their captain Sam Warburton.

After summer training camps in Switzerland and Qatar, Wales lost 35-21 to Ireland in a warm-up match last week but Warburton believes the fitness levels of his squad are higher than they were before the 2011 World Cup.

"We are in a better place physically," the 26-year-old flank told reporters. "We started off from a better place from day one.

"We probably got to the fitness levels that we were at in 2011 a couple of weeks ago and we've got a nice two-week block now until Ireland."

Wales, who finished fourth in the 2011 World Cup after losing to France in the semi-finals, play Ireland again in Dublin on August 29 before coach Warren Gatland names his final 31-man squad.

They finished third in this year's Six Nations, behind Ireland and England on points difference.

"I thought we were playing some great stuff towards the end of the Six Nations," Warburton said.

"We felt very comfortable playing together so it's about getting that cohesion back by the time the World Cup starts."

Wales are in World Cup Pool A with hosts England, former champions Australia, Fiji and Uruguay. They begin their campaign against Uruguay in Cardiff on September 20.

Read more on:    wales  |  sam warburton  |  rugby
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