Rugby World Cup 2015: Leigh Halfpenny on Wales' motivation

Leigh Halfpenny is consoled by Jonathan Davies after the 2011 World Cup semi-final loss to France
Leigh Halfpenny is consoled by Jonathan Davies after the 2011 World Cup semi-final loss to France
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England and Wales Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.

Wales' desire to go "one step further" at the World Cup is being driven by the pain of losing in the 2011 semi-finals, says full-back Leigh Halfpenny.

Warren Gatland's men lost 9-8 to France four years ago, with captain Sam Warburton sent off after 17 minutes.

Wales begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on 20 September before playing England, Fiji and Australia.

"The expectation we put on ourselves is going that one step further," said Toulon's Halfpenny.

"Not to have won that game and gone into the final after all the hard work that had gone before was a huge disappointment.

"From that experience, the squad is hugely determined to go that one step further and make that final and achieve what we're working hard for and lift that trophy."

Sam Warburton and Warren Gatland in the media conference after Wales' 9-8 defeat by France in the 2011 World Cup semi-final
Sam Warburton (left) was sent off by Alain Rolland in 2011, a decision coach Warren Gatland (right) said was a "let down"

Halfpenny missed a late penalty from the halfway line during the 2011 semi-final, but the match came before he established himself as Wales' first-choice goal-kicker.

Thirteen of the 22-man squad beaten in Auckland are in the Wales training camp preparing for this year's tournament.

Halfpenny says they face a "huge challenge" to emerge from Pool A, with both England and Australia above them in World Rugby's rankings.

"It's one we're excited for," he added. "We know we're going to have to be at our best in every game to get out of that group."

Wales have two more more warm-up games before the tournament starts on 18 September.

They play Ireland in Dublin on 29 August, with the final squad of 31 players to be named two days later. Their last warm-up match is against Italy in Cardiff on 5 September.

Wales' World Cup pool games
Sunday, 20 Sept, 14:30 BST: Wales v Uruguay, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 26 Sept, 20:00 BST: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium
Thursday, 1 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 10 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Australia, Millennium Stadium

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