1. ITV Report

Sir Gareth Edwards tips Wales to shine in 2019

Sir Gareth Edwards insists Wales should fear no-one at next year's World Cup after a record-breaking run under Warren Gatland.

Wales were unbeaten during this year's Autumn Internationals. Credit: PA

Wales head into 2019 on a real high after completing a first-ever autumn series clean sweep and recording nine successive wins, their best run for 20 years.

And Wales scrum-half great Edwards says there is huge optimism that Gatland's side can continue that form by mounting successful Six Nations and World Cup campaigns in 2019.

Sir Gareth Edwards in action for Wales. Credit: PA

This could be the biggest year for Welsh sport.

We can compete with the best and I think we have the personnel to shake the world.

We don't have to fear anyone because of what has been developed.

The great defence is there for everyone to see and this is probably the best squad we've had from top to bottom.

There's a lot more consistency and the bench is a lot stronger.

When these boys run on now you're not afraid of what's going to happen.

In the past you thought 'I hope we can keep these boys on for as long as we can'.

It's not a game of 15 people any more, and that's vitally important for Wales.

– Sir Gareth Edwards, Former Wales International
Warren Gatland finishes his head coach role at the end of the 2019 World Cup. Credit: PA

Wales' triumphant autumn saw victories over Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa.

The win over the Wallabies was the first in 14 attempts, while fast-improving South Africa overcame world champions New Zealand in Wellington during the summer.

What Wales have achieved in the autumn has been excellent and given us a great deal of confidence.

The Six Nations will be more of a test now, England and Ireland in particular.

But playing them in Cardiff will be a terrific advantage, and hopefully we can have a great Six Nations ahead of what will be the ultimate test.

– Sir Gareth Edwards, Former Wales International
Rhys Webb moved to France after leaving the Ospreys. Credit: PA

Whether British and Irish Lions scrum-half Rhys Webb is available to play at the World Cup remains to be seen.

Webb is unable to represent Wales following his move from the Ospreys to Toulon as Welsh Rugby Union rules stipulate that players based outside the country must have 60 caps.

Gatland said in September that he would "love" to name Webb in his World Cup squad and hoped that "common sense" will prevail over the issue.

I am aware why he is not in the side and I think it's important that we have our best players in Wales.

But Webb gives us something different and you always want your best players there.

Webb at his best would give anyone a game. He might give us a better option because the other boys are a bit of the same.

– Sir Gareth Edwards, Former Wales International