THE Wales squad will not back down from any challenges during the 2024 Six Nations Championship says a Newcastle Emlyn prop.

Gareth Thomas – who has 26 caps for Wales and is included in the squad for the tournament – said in a pre-tournament conference that despite many writing Wales off in terms of the title after the announcement of a relatively inexperienced squad, the squad will not be backing down.

“I can’t see a team coming up against us and thinking they’re going to have an easy day,” he said.

“We don’t think much about the history of what has gone on in these games in the past. We haven’t got much to lose, and we just want to get out there and win.

“There is a lot of energy in the camp at the moment. We have to empty the tank from game one in this tournament and there has to be 100 per cent effort from every one.

“Since I’ve been involved, and even watching Wales before, no-one’s had an easy day against Wales. The boys we’ve got in the squad at the minute, none of us will back down in any fight.

“We’re a country that always punches above our weight. We’re going to have to do that in this campaign as well.

“With a bit of belief, and then being able to deliver on the detail the coaches give us, should see us do alright.”

The Ospreys prop – who missed the region’s recent trip to South Africa which has allowed him to come into the Welsh squad refreshed – also believes that those in the squad who were part of Wales’ rigorous training schedule ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup are still reaping the benefits of the training camps.

Prior to the tournament, the squad spent time in Switzerland training in Fiesch at altitude and in the extreme heat near Antalya in Turkey. This training helped them in the tournament in France, with their run ending in the quarter finals.

The former Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi pupil said: “I think all of the boys who did the summer camps probably agree we all feel fit.

“I hope that comes into the games in the Six Nations as well. I hope it shows that we are still fit because I probably felt the best I’ve ever felt at the World Cup.

“I haven’t had that much time off since then, so I haven’t had time to lose it I suppose, so I hope I’m still just as fit.”

Wales will kick off their 2024 Guinness Six Nations tournament against Scotland on Saturday, February 3, kick off at 4.45pm at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.