World Cup 2015: Wales will have to be tough to qualify, says Owens

Kristian Dacey and Ken Owens grapple with a huge tyre during Wales training in Switzerland
Kristian Dacey (left) and Ken Owens are among four hookers vying for a place in Wales' World Cup squad

Ken Owens says Wales will need "every bit of mental toughness" to make it through Pool A in the 2015 World Cup.

Wales face hosts England as well as Australia, Fiji and Uruguay in the group stage at the autumn tournament.

"I think it's something we're more than capable of doing, but one good team is going out of the World Cup at the group stage," said the Scarlets hooker.

Owens, 28, is part of the 47-man interim squad training at altitude in Switzerland.

"It's not the easiest group with England and Australia," added Owens.

"Fiji are going to be no mugs and Uruguay coming to the Millennium Stadium will be looking looking to prove themselves.

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Gareth Charles reports from Switzerland as Wales' rugby players are put through their paces ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

"Every edge and every bit of mental toughness you can get is going to be massively important in this World Cup campaign.

"It's going to be interesting because whoever gets through our group is going to be battle-hardened going into the latter stages of the tournament."

Owens made his debut in the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand when Wales reached the semi-finals before being knocked out by France.

He has gone on to make 27 international appearances, but says he faces a battle to make it into the final 31-man squad this summer.

Injury ruled him out of the 2014 autumn internationals and four of Wales' matches in the 2015 Six Nations.

But made an appearance off the bench in the 60-21 win over Italy on the final weekend of the tournament.

British and Irish Lion Richard Hibbard, Ospreys' Scott Baldwin and Kristian Dacey of Cardiff Blues are the other hookers currently being put through their paces in Fiescheralp.

"There's four very good hookers out here and every one of them is capable of being the number one number two," said Owens.

"The competition is right there for everyone to see."

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