Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward says that Six Nations champions Wales could win the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
Wales are in the same Rugby World Cup pool as two former champions - England and Wales - and Woodward says that Wales could benefit from the Lions series victory over Australia.
Wales and Lions coach picked 10 Welshmen in his 37-strong squad for the tour to Australia and named 10 of them in the final Test against the Wallabies in Sydney.
Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny was named player of the series while players such as George North and Jonathan Davies made headlines on the tour.
When Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton was injured Gataland named another Welshman Alun Wyn Jones as captain for the third and final Test.
Woodward said that there was a question mark over the depth of Welsh talent but says that given the calibre of some of the players they can go all the way.
"If Wales field their first XV, they are potential World Cup winners," he told Wales Online.
"Wales have not got the depth of options available to England, but they do have the quality.
"When they are at their strongest, they are a match for any team in the world.
"Their players were crucial to the Lions and I thought skipper Sam Warburton was amazing."
Wales have not done well against Australia in recent times but the Lions victory over the Wallabies will have given some Welsh players the confidence to know that their world cup pool opponents can be beaten.
Wales' other pool opponents England were well beaten earlier this year in March in the Six Nations and Woodward has England coach Stuart Lancaster that his side must improve.
"Stuart is doing an excellent job and has a good team developing," he said.
"And the Lions experiences this summer of coaches Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree will benefit them hugely.
"But the World Cup will be incredibly competitive in the qualifying pools, particularly for England who are drawn with Wales and Australia."
"It's no longer about development, it's now about results."
"The England forwards look very impressive but it's time for our backline to step up and start firing on all cylinders."