Wales’ Carre hopes for fast lane to World Cup

Owen Lane: Cardiff Blues wing ready to face Ireland for Wales debut
World Cup warm-ups: Wales v Ireland
Venue: Principality Stadium Date: Saturday, 31 August Kick-off: 14:30 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, on the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

It has been a meteoric journey for Wales’ two new caps Rhys Carre and Owen Lane.

From Cardiff Districts Under-13s to housemates and now making their Wales debuts with World Cup places on the line.

“It’s mad,” said Carre.

“We have gone through every step of the pathway together. Cardiff Schools, Cardiff Blues Under-16s and so on.

“We went to Cowbridge Comprehensive together and lived together last year, so it’s been quite crazy.”

Lane and Carre were the two new faces in Wales’ extended World Cup squad with head coach Warren Gatland admitting the prop found the rigorous training regime hard.

Carre has lost almost a stone and a half after trimming down from 21-and-a-half stone to just above 20.

“You expect it to be tough, but you don’t expect it to be that tough,” said Carre.

“Warren and the guys base our game on we have got to be the fittest team and that shows in training. All the sessions are tough, you rarely get an easy day.

“I have lost a bit of weight in these eight to 10 weeks. I came in at about 137kg, so I’m around 128kg now.

“It’s worth it now. Running is a lot easier, I’m not out of breath after 10 seconds now.”

Carre admits he was most sorely tested in the high altitude of the Swiss Alps.

Rhys Carre (centre) and the other players were put through their paces in Switzerland

“Fiesch was tough,” said Carre. “It was a wonderful experience and place, but when it got down to the nitty-gritty in training it was a tough old slog for two weeks. It’s in the bank now and we are all the better for it.

“There was one session which was just ridiculous.

“If you looked at the paper it was written on, you would have thought no-one could do that session but we managed to do it.

“I couldn’t describe the horrors. It was different types of running drills and games which lasted just over an hour. Some people were sick, but I won’t mention any names.”

Carre would be the ultimate World Cup bolter if he were selected in Warren Gatland’s 31-man squad on Sunday.

The 21-year-old loose-head was drafted into Wales squad after only three starts for Cardiff Blues and following his move to European champions Saracens.

Saracens announced in April that Carre would be joining them for the start of the 2019-20 seaosn

Welsh Rugby Union eligibility rules state players can not play for Wales if they play their club rugby outside the country, unless they have more than 60 caps.

Carre is exempt from this policy because he was uncapped when he agreed to join Saracens.

A decision to be made about whether he returns to Wales when his new contract ends with the English club in two seasons, if the WRU keeps its selection policy.

For now, Carre is just focusing on his first cap and realising his potential World Cup dream.

“It’s a massive day for me and my family, and all the friends I have grown up with,” said Carre.

“We have all been on a journey together. This time last year I had just come back from the Under-20 World Championship out in France and it hadn’t been my best performance.

“At that point, I was nervous about pushing forward into my first professional season with the Blues, but in 12 months everything has changed for me.

“If it wasn’t big enough getting here and winning my first cap for Wales, I’ve got that added pressure of potentially getting on the plane to go to Japan.

“Warren has just said to me there’s a seat up for grabs. If that’s not enough of a motivation for anyone, there’s not much else that’s going to do it for you.”

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