‘The challenge will be there in every game’ – Ken Owens

Wales hooker Ken Owens is determined to impress at the upcoming Rugby World Cup as his team looks to back up their impressive year thus far.

The Six Nations champions enter the tournament in Japan as one of the favourites for glory as they have grown as a team over the recent years.

And Owens, who has yet to feature in a World Cup side for Wales, is eager to hit the ground running as they look to live up to their reputation.

“Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to go to this World Cup and get a start,” he told Press Association Sport ahead of the 2019 tournament.

“Going into 2011 I’d come off a serious injury and because a couple of other boys had injuries too I made the squad – and I was chuffed to get my first cap at that World Cup.

“In 2015 it was pretty much the same. I’d had about eight or nine months out with my neck again.

“Scott had a great tournament and my role was to bring an impact off the bench, which I enjoyed.

“You make your own luck and player’s roles change in different squads. Hopefully I can stay fit and prove myself to the squad. It would be huge to make a third World Cup.”

Wales are currently in Switzerland as they step up their training before the Rugby World Cup warm-up matches and Owens insists they will be in peak condition for a pool stage that sees them face Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Uruguay.

“To get that result against Australia was a monkey off the back and does give us confidence,” Owens said when looking back at their 2013 win over the Wallabies.

“You saw when we beat South Africa and got that one win, we’ve had pretty good results against them since then.

“But the challenge will be there in every game. Fiji have won in France and, you see this at every World Cup, that when the South Sea Island sides get an extended period of time together they’re very dangerous.

“You can’t write off Georgia either. They’ve got some strength and weapons, and Uruguay are not just going to turn up and roll over to give us the points.

“We can’t just say ‘all we need to do is beat Australia’ because we might end up losing the other games.”