‘I’m s****ing myself’: Wales coach reveals World Cup fears
RUGBY coach Warren Gatland is driven by the fear of failure, so it's no surprise he is going all out to ensure Wales have a successful World Cup in his final year in charge.
Gatland admits he is scared stiff of failing and is desperate to go out on a high.
"I'm s****ing myself about next year because I want it to be a good year," Gatland said at a media briefing.
"The last thing I want to do is have a poor Six Nations and a poor World Cup, because the amount of work we've put in over the past 12 years has been huge.
"So there's a certain amount of pressure with that. That's why I'll be really focused on doing the best job that I can."
And that could mean early warning signals for the Wallabies, who not only come up against the Dragons in the autumn but are also in the same group in next year's World Cup in Japan.
The 55-year-old New Zealander was appointed after the 2007 World Cup when Wales lost to Fiji and failed to make the quarter-finals.
Since then Wales have won three Six Nations titles and two Grand Slams, while also reaching the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup - their best performance since the competition's inaugural tournament in 1987 - and the quarterfinals four years later.
Gatland has been head coach of the British and Irish Lions twice during his spell in Wales.
Both tours proved successful with the Lions winning in Australia in 2013 and sharing the 2017 series with world champions New Zealand.
Gatland's focus now turns to the autumn campaign and fixtures against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa.
But he accepts it is his final Six Nations campaign and the 2019 World Cup which will really shape his legacy.
Wales are in the same World Cup group as Australia, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay and could meet England in the last eight.
"We want to finish as well as we possibly can and I can hopefully leave these shores with my head held high," said Gatland, who has just returned from a fact finding mission to Japan.
"So the next 12 months is pretty important - not so much November and the warmup games, but the Six Nations, where it counts, and definitely the World Cup.
"Those are the competitions where we are judged on."