He saw his side get off to a winning start against Fiji last weekend and has made 13 changes from the starting XV in Bordeaux for the round two clash against Portugal in Nice.
“We’ve always been confident in the past about World Cups and the opportunity to get the team together for an extended period. We think we’ve done well at previous tournaments and would like to get to a final of a World Cup,” said Gatland.
“You get a group of players working for each other, sharing that passion about playing for their country, for Wales. They recognise the history, what it means to the fans, and their families to represent their country.”
Dewi Lake will lead Wales against Os Lobos for what will be the second meeting of the two countries on a rugby field. The last time they faced each other was in Lisbon in a World Cup qualifying game in 1994, when Wales won 102-11, scoring 16 tries.
Co-captain Jac Morgan was in chare in Bordeaux and Lake, like Morgan a former Wales U20 skipper, will make his World Cup debut in Nice.
“I don’t think it will really sink in until probably post-World Cup, just because there is so much focus on preparing for the week, getting ready for games, and then playing those games,” said Lake.
“Then, all of a sudden, you’ve only got five days until the next game. But it’s incredible to be here representing the country and leading the boys out at the weekend with the experience we’ve got in the squad – it’s an honour.”