Six Nations 2015: Wales can win the World Cup - Warren Gatland

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Wales coach Warren Gatland says Wales can "potentially" win the 2015 World Cup despite being in a group including Australia and hosts England.

After an opening loss to England, Wales won their remaining four games of the Six Nations to miss out on the title on points difference.

Gatland says if all his players are fit and available Wales can go all the way.

"If they are we are good enough to come out of the group and potentially... win the World Cup," he said.

Gatland's side beat Italy 61-20 in their Six Nations finale, but a stunning second-half performance was not enough to take the title.

Ireland's 40-10 win over Scotland later in the day ensured Wales could not finish in top spot and they finished third after England beat France 55-35 at Twickenham.

After beating the Azzurri, Gatland began to look ahead to clashes in World Cup Pool A against England and Australia at Twickenham.

Wales also host Fiji and Uruguay in Cardiff in the autumn tournament in which only two teams from each pool can qualify for the knockout stages.

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"We know when we spend that time together that we can go and play some rugby," said the New Zealander.

"There's no fear for us playing in Twickenham against England or playing Australia as well because we'll be in good shape physically.

"As long as everyone stays fit and there aren't too many injuries, I think we can go there with some real confidence and belief that we can get out of that group."

Gatland says his players heeded the lessons of defeat by England in Cardiff in February.

They led 16-8 at half-time only for England to score 13 unanswered points after the break.

The coach says Wales were comfortable in the first half against England, but "got dragged into a game that didn't suit us".

He added: "England drove every single line-out and kicked a lot and we got dragged into that, not expressing ourselves a bit more and playing rugby."

The successful 2013 British and Irish Lions coach in Australia said his players did not fall into the same trap against Scotland and Ireland and, in particular, Italy.

"That was a good learning experience, particularly that second half against England," said Gatland.

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"I think we've adapted well to that and played well for the remainder of the tournament."

And he says their pre-World Cup training camps will make Wales better prepared than they were going into the Six Nations.

"I don't think you can underestimate the preparation that Fiji will do - they will be a tough opponent as well," said Gatland.

He also reflected on his side's performance at Stadio Olimpico, where they led 14-13 at the break before cutting loose in the second period.

"People say 'why didn't you have that performance in the first half?' But it's not as easy as that," said Gatland.

"When you're playing against a team where they're fit and they're fresh, it's hard to put someone away and they put our scrum under a bit of pressure.

"The second half we kept the tempo up, we kept ball in hand and eventually we put the game to bed."

Gatland said he was heartened by the availability of Welsh talent for international rugby's showpiece.

"We're in a good position at the moment. There's a lot of players out there who are desperate to keep that jersey and want to play.

"When we named the squad I had knocks on the door from players saying 'why aren't I picked? Why aren't I given an opportunity?'

"And as a coach that's a great position to be in and you know that players, whether they're picked or not, are desperate to want to be part of this squad.

"I think that's really healthy for us moving forward."

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