World Cup 2015: Stephen Jones optimistic on Wales chances

Wales players at a pre-World Cup training camp in Switzerland
Wales players spent two weeks altitude training in Switzerland

Former fly-half Stephen Jones believes Wales can do well at the World Cup but avoiding injuries in warm-up matches will be vital.

Wales face Ireland home and away and host Italy ahead of their opening game against Uruguay on 20 September.

Coach Warren Gatland's original 47-man squad is due to be whittled down to 31 on 31 August.

"The key for us is that we don't pick up too many bumps in the warm-up games," Jones said.

"If we can keep that squad to the World Cup with the experiences those boys have had, and the success they've had, then we're in a good place."

"I know we have lost Jonathan Davies and Rhodri Jones, and hopefully Samson Lee can come through."

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World Cup 2015: See Wales' tough training in slow motion

Davies will miss the World Cup after the centre suffered a serious knee injury while playing for Clermont Auvergne.

Rhodri Jones will miss the start of the tournament and the Scarlets tight-head could be sidelined for the entire tournament after suffering a ruptured pectoral muscle at a Wales training camp.

Fellow Scarlets prop Lee is currently recovering from a serious Achilles tendon problem suffered during the Six Nations, while full-back or wing Liam Williams is still recovering following surgery on an injured foot.

Wales spent two weeks training at altitude in Switzerland and will continue their World Cup preparations in the sweltering heat of Qatar.

Jones, who has returned to Scarlets as backs coach, has been impressed with the intensity of Wales' preparations for a tournament which will also include games against hosts England, Australia and Fiji.

"They are working ridiculously hard to ensure they are in great condition," added Jones, who won 104 Wales and six British and Irish Lions Test caps and played in three World Cups.

"As a player you know that hard work will be well worth it and they will be chomping at the bit."

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