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Carré on ‘unbelievable’ RWC experience

Rhys Carrė received his World Cup cap at Monday's Welcome Ceremony in Kitakyushu.

Carré on ‘unbelievable’ RWC experience

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Young Wales forward Rhys Carré is relishing the chance to be involved at his first Rugby World Cup.

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The loosehead prop, 21, is the youngest member of Warren Gatland’s squad in Japan and has the responsibility of carrying around the team’s traditional Welsh love spoon as a result.

Carré did exactly that at Wales’ official World Cup welcome and capping ceremony on Monday.

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“It is tradition for the youngest player of the team to walk around with this at all the events. It’s natural to Wales,” he said. “The person who made it wanted to show their love for our country.

“It is original to Wales and I am honoured to carry it around everywhere I go. The only problem is I think the rest of the boys like to hide it from me!”

Wales have had a remarkable welcome in the southern Japanese city of Kitakyushu where 15,000 people watched Gatland’s side in training.

VIDEO: Watch the warm welcome Wales received at Kitakyushu here.

Carré, who made his Wales debut in the home World Cup warm-up meeting with Ireland, couldn’t believe his eyes.

“The welcome we have got here is outstanding. We never expected it to be like this,” he said.

“It’s safe to say that is the most people I’ve ever had watch me train. It’s overwhelming and I am really excited.

“I just try and keep my head down and focus on the job in hand. We’ve got a World Cup to hopefully win so we need to try and prepare as best as we can.

“I’ve been working hard and I am happy to be here. The people here have been unbelievable.

“If you had said to me 12 months ago I would be in Japan on the doorstep of a World Cup I would have said ‘You’re lying’. I am here now and it’s a case of head down and keep going forward.”

Wales assistant strength and conditioning head coach and former hooker Huw Bennett also spoke to the media after Carré at the official welcome ceremony.

VIDEO: Get a snapshot of an exciting start to the week for Wales in Japan here.

Bennett has been part of the Welsh Rugby Union delegation who have worked hard over the last 18 months to create links between Wales and Kitakyushu.

“There has been a lot of work that has gone on behind the scenes. For the players to feel the welcome has been great,” Bennett said.

“To have a training session in front of a full capacity stadium was outstanding. Just over two years ago Alan Phillips (Wales team manager) and I came over to Kitakyushu.

“There was a realisation something could be grown here. Three trips have been done so far and the likes of Rhys Williams and Greg Woods have been heavily involved in that.

“It has been about embracing Kitakyushu and doing everything rugby-wise and everything non rugby-wise to embrace them.

“In all the rugby sessions we’ve done we have engaged with the community. It was heavily stressed that rugby is for everyone and you could see that by the diversity in the crowd.

“I am proud of the guys who have been heavily involved in it.

“A World Cup is a long period away and for the players to be able to say that Kitakyushu is a home from home already is a great vibe to have within the camp.”

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