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We can win the World Cup, says Wales full-back Liam Williams

The Six Nations winners have to beat France and then either Japan or South Africa to reach the final.

Liam Williams is confident in Wales’ World Cup chances (Adam Davy/PA)
Liam Williams is confident in Wales’ World Cup chances (Adam Davy/PA)

By Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent, Oita

Liam Williams believes Wales can win the World Cup in Japan.

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The reigning Six Nations champions face a quarter-final showdown with France in Oita on Sunday.

Wales have beaten Les Bleus seven times in eight meetings since losing a controversial World Cup semi-final to them in 2011 when captain Sam Warburton was sent off.

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Wales suffered World Cup heartbreak against France in 2011 (David Davies/PA)

If they knock out France, it will be a semi-final appointment with South Africa or a resurgent Japan in Yokohama.

“There is only one thing we think we can do and that is win it,” Wales full-back Williams said.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve got the easy route. We’ve got France next, and we need to beat them to be looking at the bigger picture.

“I think we can go on and win it.

There is only one thing we think we can do and that is win it. Liam Williams

“Over the past 18 months, we’ve won the Six Nations and we’ve been away on a couple of these camps and it has all brought us in to one huge team.

“I think that has been great for Wales and hopefully it is going to put us in really good stead.”

Saracens star Williams would achieve a remarkable individual grand slam if Wales go on to be crowned world champions.

Already this year he helped Wales win the Six Nations title and the Grand Slam before being part of a Saracens team that landed the Heineken Champions Cup and Gallagher Premiership.

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Wales have had a successful year so far (David Davies/PA)

And he is enjoying every minute of the World Cup, which has been highlighted by hosts Japan winning their group with four successive wins, including memorable victories over Ireland and Scotland.

“They were unbelievable – fair play to them,” added Williams, reflecting on the 28-21 win against Scotland two days ago.

“I thought the accuracy of their passing was unbelievable. We know it has been quite hot out here and sweaty, so the passing was unbelievable and they played with some real structure as well, which was just amazing. Scotland didn’t really have any answers.

“Some people try to play like that, some people like to kick a bit more. Japan like to keep the ball in hand.

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Japan stunned Scotland to reach the quarter-finals (David Davies/PA)

“It depends what works for a team, I guess. But we were watching it in the changing rooms after the (Wales versus Uruguay) game, and it was unbelievable.”

For Williams and company, though, the immediate challenge is France, and beating a Six Nations rival that could set up a full-scale tilt at global glory.

“I think France have been playing really well,” he said.

“They have got some old heads in their team and they have a lot of experience as well. We will go on to the training pitch this week and work on the stuff that we will need to beat France.

“We’ve started a couple of our games quite well. Obviously against Australia we started really well in the first half but we dropped off. We need to start hard and keep that up for the whole game.”

PA

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