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McBryde says the only way is up for Wales

17.08.19 - Wales v England - Under Armour Summer Series - Robin McBryde.

McBryde says the only way is up for Wales

Robin McBryde ended his Wales career with a smile as he declared his job the “best in the world” at the close of the World Cup in Japan.

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Forwards coach McBryde has worked alongside head coach Warren Gatland in the Welsh set-up every step of the way for the last 12 years.

In that time Wales have won three Six Nations Grand Slams and been to two World Cup semi-finals while McBryde has also stepped up to take charge of Wales on three separate occasions.

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The summer tours to North America in 2009, Japan in 2013, and the 2017 games with Tonga and Samoa saw McBryde promoted with Gatland on duty with the British & Irish Lions.

“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been head coach of and coached my country,” said passionate Welshman and former hooker McBryde. “For me that’s the best job in world rugby – coaching your own team. That’s never been lost on me and it’s been a great honour for me to be involved in such a successful period. That’s down to Warren and the environment he’s created.

“There is expectancy there now. The boys have started to live up to it and we are no longer about one-off games or one-off results. There is a consistency to our performances.

“The youngsters in this squad have had great opportunities to rub shoulders with true legends of the Welsh game – Alun Wyn Jones, to name but one of them. He’s been outstanding. They’ve learned off the best players – it wasn’t that long ago Sam Warburton was playing.

“They’ve got that grounding now and there’s only one way I can see them going – up.”

McBryde won 37 caps for Wales as a player between 1994 and 2005.

When Gatland was appointed Wales boss in 2007, the now 49-year-old joined him and defence coach Shaun Edwards in the set-up.

“My memory isn’t that good, but the Grand Slam this year was pretty special to be honest with you,” said McBryde, looking back on his favourite memories with Wales.

“There were a couple of good performances in there with the two home matches and the environment and atmosphere that was created by the crowds at those matches was fantastic.

“We knew it was our last Six Nations and to get a Grand Slam through a doggedness and stubbornness and to go out on that high was amazing.”

Wales finished fourth at the 2019 World Cup in Japan in Gatland, McBryde and Edwards’ last campaign with the team.
McBryde is joining Irish province Leinster for his next job and he believes the future of Welsh rugby is bright after a host of young players were blooded over the course of the last 18 months.

Wales’ last game at the 2019 World Cup ended with a 40-17 defeat by New Zealand in the bronze medal clash at Tokyo Stadium.

“I’m proud of the boys. They didn’t give up in the second half. I was a bit disappointed with some of the tries we conceded, but we kept going and I thought the youngsters did well when they came off the bench. They put up a good fight and gave a good account of themselves,” McBryde said.

“They bought into the occasion. From that point of view I’m pretty happy to finish off on that as that’s the future of Welsh rugby.

“So long as the players use these experiences in the right way I think the future of Welsh rugby is going to be in a very good place.”

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McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
McBryde says the only way is up for Wales
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