Flanker Dan Lydiate hopes Wales' 2015 World Cup campaign will "go a lot better" than their fourth-placed finish at the 2011 tournament.
France ended their their bid to reach the final after skipper Sam Warburton was sent off in the semi-final.
"It's always in the back of your head, the 'what-ifs'. So we're hoping this time it will go a lot better," said 2013 British and Irish Lion Lydiate.
Wales face hosts England, plus Australia at the 2015 autumn event.
They also take on Fiji and Uruguay in Pool A, kicking off their campaign at Millennium Stadium on Sunday, 20 September.
Australia beat Wales in the third-place play-off in New Zealand four years ago.
Lydiate, 27, will top 50 caps for his country if he remains a Wales regular.
He faces competition for the number six jersey from fellow Osprey James King and uncapped Gloucester back-rower Ross Moriarty.
The rest of Wales' back-row options are Dan Baker (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) and Warburton (Cardiff Blues).
Former Newport Gwent Dragon and Racing 92 player Lydiate, says ex-England Under-20 World Junior Championship winner Moriarty, "had a brilliant finish to the season for Gloucester".
Moriarty and uncapped Exeter tight-head prop Tomas Francis are both bidding to make the Wales World Cup squad, while also qualified to play for England.
"All the new boys that have come in have really bought into the ethos of what we've been about for the last four years," Lydiate told BBC Wales at the squad's training camp in Switzerland.
"There's definitely competition for places, which is brilliant for the selection for the coaches.
"With Ross coming in and people like James King, there's always in the back of your head, you're looking to see what they're doing, how well they're doing."
Lydiate also echoed team-mates who believe their first pre-tournament training camp is tougher than previous experiences, including those that took place in Poland ahead of the 2011 tournament in New Zealand.
Wales next head for the heat of Doha in the Middle East and will return to Poland as preparations continue later this summer.
"We went to Poland four years ago and it's definitely been a step up coming here," said Lydiate.
"But I think the squad is in a lot better place fitness-wise going into this campaign.
"So with that being said, they're pushing us a lot harder, but the boys will definitely be seeing the benefit.
"I thought it would be the same as last time, [but] that's the way rugby's going at the minute.
"Each year, each campaign, every time we're in international time, there's a little step up each time and... the next place we travel to will be stepped up again."