Williams: We must look forward

Ospreys star does not want to suffer another early exit

Last Updated: 08/09/11 4:24pm

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Shane Williams: Set to win 82nd cap

Shane Williams: Set to win 82nd cap

Sky Bet

Shane Williams has urged Wales not to dwell on their poor World Cup campaign of 2007 as they look to upset South Africa.

Wales open their campaign on Sunday with a Pool D clash against the current world champions, having beaten the Springboks just once from 25 previous attempts stretching back 105 years.

"In a World Cup, you have only one chance, really. If you go out and under-perform like we did last time, you are going home early."
Shane Williams Quotes of the week

Recent form, though, suggests Wales have more than a fighting chance of bucking that trend, having arrived in New Zealand with five victories from their last seven Tests.

They also have the knowledge that on two of the last three previous appointments with South Africa, Wales held comfortable leads before being reeled in.

Disappointing

"We don't dwell on 2007, we dwell on what has happened recently," said Williams, who is set to win his 82nd cap this weekend.

"The last World Cup was very disappointing in the manner we went home. We only had ourselves to blame.

"In a World Cup, you have only one chance, really. If you go out and under-perform like we did last time, you are going home early.

"We certainly don't want that to happen again.

"We've worked very hard pre-World Cup on first of all making sure we are fit and ready for these big physical games.

"But almost more importantly, you have to be mentally tough for these big competitions.

"It is tough, and it does play tricks on your mind playing these games, but the confidence in the camp at the moment is great.

"The attitude in training has been fantastic from the start. There is a nice feeling of self-belief in the camp. Perhaps we've lacked that in the past.

"We will take every game as it comes, and we are preparing at the moment for a very tough South African side."

Wales will have no time to ease themselves into a tournament that sees them facing Samoa just seven days after meeting South Africa, but assistant coach Robin McBryde is unruffled by facing the Springboks on the tournament's opening weekend.

"We look at it in a positive way," he said. "Obviously, both sides will try to surprise each other, so first-up it is a good thing, that is the way we're approaching it.

"But it will be quite a challenge. They are a big team, very physical, and they are the reigning champions, so they won't want to relinquish their crown that easily.

"Our motivation is to start well."

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