ROBIN McBryde has spoken of his optimisim for the future of Welsh rugby after the national side’s recent Grand Slam triumph.
Bangor-born McBryde has played a key role within the Wales coaching set up in recent years, and last week he agreed terms to a new contract that will see him remain within the national set-up until 2015.
After Wales’ success in this year’s Six Nations tournament, the former Llanelli Captain is confident of the national side’s chances in their upcoming tour of Australia.
He said: “Obviously there aren’t many better sides around at the moment, and it’s an exciting time for the team. I’m just looking forward to our next challenge.
“I feel that the squad has the potential to beat Australia. But to do that, we have to take the next step up or people will start to doubt our chances of being able to compete at the highest level.”
McBryde began his career at Menai Bridge Rugby Club, before eventually making the move south to Llanelli, in search of a higher standard of rugby.
Having amassed 39 caps and winning one Grand Slam with Wales during his illustrious playing career, McBryde joined Warren Gatland’s coaching team in 2008.
The former Wales hooker is now the side’s forwards coach, and he believes that the balance of coaches within the current set up will bode well for the side’s future.
He said: “As a group of coaches, we have a good professional relationship. We’ve learnt a lot of lessons as a group of coaches, and we’re quite comfortable, but not too comfortable. Everyone pulls their weight.”
Having also grown up on Anglesey and made the move to Llanelli, current star George North is the latest player to fly the flag for North Wales, and McBryde believes the 19 year old is a great ambassador for the island.
He said: “The coaches and teachers who worked with him in the north deserve a lot of credit. Without the good start he was given by them, he might not be playing at this standard now.
“From the moment he arrived, he made a huge impact in the Wales squad, and he’s going to be around for a long time.”
“You can forget about Wills and Kate, Anglesey is George North’s island now!”