Harris backs Wales impact
Wales coach Iestyn Harris believes he has the talent at his disposal to make an impact in the World Cup.
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Harris' team warmed up for the tournament with a 62-12 victory over a Welsh Select XIII at Colwyn Bay's Eirias Park on Tuesday evening, their only hit-out ahead of their World Cup opener against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, October 26.
The friendly followed a week of intense training in North Wales and Harris will be able to call on Wigan's Grand Final-winning forwards Ben Flower and Gil Dudson against Italy after they were rested on Tuesday night.
"It has been a good week for us," Harris said. "We've hit a fair bit of intensity in training.
"We had some sore bodies going into the game, which is what we wanted.
"I'm happy with the squad at the moment. Some of the guys are a little dusty as they haven't played for four to five weeks so it was important for them to get this hit-out."
Harris was particularly delighted with the contribution of Bridgend-born twins Ben and Rhys Evans, the Warrington centre who has gone back to his roots after playing for England Knights in 2012.
He said: "Ben was with us last year and he always gives you 100 per cent so you can't ask for more than that.
"Rhys gives us some pace in the backs and a little bit of movement that we perhaps didn't have before. He's settled into the team extremely well and I thought he looked really sharp against the Select.
"We perhaps weren't at our slickest but we've got Ben Flower, Gil Dudson, Larne Patrick and Ian Webster to put into the mix, and potentially Tyson Frizell when he comes over. We'll be a decent prospect when we've got everyone on the field."
Wales' focus now turns to Italy, whose NRL-based players - they include Anthony and Mark Minichiello, Aiden Guerra and Dean Parata - were due to fly into the country on Wednesday afternoon.
"Italy have talked themselves up in terms of what they're going to bring to the World Cup," Harris said. "They've got some quality players in the squad and you know that they're going to test you in certain areas.
"It's our priority to make sure our preparation is right and this week has allowed us to get that. We're having a good build-up to the Italy game in Cardiff and everyone knows the structure."