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Delve chasing World Cup dream

Gareth Delve will realise a lifetime rugby ambition if he makes the Wales squad for next month's World Cup.

The former Gloucester captain is determined to do everything in his power to be part of Wales coach Warren Gatland's 30-man group that leaves for New Zealand on August 31. He has never previously played in a World Cup, shoulder and knee problems during an injury-hit career wrecking his hopes in 2003 and 2007.

Yet Delve has arguably found the form of his life heading towards Wales' opening warm-up clash against England on Saturday. The number eight said: "It is great to be involved and have a chance to get on the plane for New Zealand."

He added: "I want the chance to get out on to the field this month and show what I can do. This is one of the fittest squads I have ever been involved with, and it has been hard getting up to their standard.

"Hopefully, now I can start to have a bit more impact on the place and try to show I have learned a few things and I am a better player.

"I have played rugby in different countries and parts of the world, but this (World Cup) is a huge ambition I have not fulfilled yet.

"This is always the tough part, but we can only take 30 players to the World Cup and the back row is one of the most competitive areas, so it's hard to know who is going to make it.

"It is up to me now to show that I am worth a place. It is a big opportunity for me.

"We have such a strong squad that there is fierce competition for places, and we have a big couple of weeks coming up. If you are not at the top of your game, you will not get a start.

"We will go to New Zealand with high hopes of going further than we have been before in the World Cup. It is all about confidence - we back ourselves and believe we can cause a few upsets."

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