WALES number eight Ross Moriarty intends to stamp his authority on the position to soften the blow of losing Taulupe Faletau from the World Cup.

Moriarty has been to the fore for Warren Gatland's side over the past two seasons because of his fellow Lions tourist's injury misfortune.

The 25-year-old, who moved to the Dragons from Gloucester last summer, has started at number eight in 12 of the last 14 Tests.

Moriarty has been a leading figure in helping Wales climb to the top of World Rugby's rankings with a streak of 15 wins from 16 internationals.

He became even more important to the Grand Slam champions when Faletau, whose last camp was in the 2018 Six Nations, suffered a broken collarbone in the training camp in Switzerland.

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"I wouldn't say that it puts pressure on me," said Moriarty, who played against Uruguay and Australia in the 2015 World Cup. "It's sad for Toby because he had a long lay-off with injury and then hurt himself in training, it's sad for any player to go through that.

"But it's just another opportunity to really take hold of the 8 shirt. It's all about experience and I hadn't really played at number eight much before I came into Welsh camp.

"I feel that I have grown in that position and I am happy, but I've said in the past that as long as I am on the pitch I don't really care (where I play). I will do my best to help the team."

Moriarty joined forces impressively with fellow starters blindside Josh Navidi, who is also an option at number eight, and openside Justin Tipuric in the Six Nations with Aaron Wainwright adding energy from the bench.

The starting trio are now being put under pressure by the 21-year-old from Bassaleg, who impressed in the double-header against England.


Gatland lauds Dragons flanker Wainwright

"It's great, he has a few caps under his belt now and it's good to see a Dragons teammate doing well," said Moriarty.

"Training together is good and I try to help him with little things and with his work-ons, it's good to have him in the team.

"He is definitely starting to look a lot more comfortable in Test rugby and that's what happens because it's all about experience at this level. He has taken to it well."

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Wales are being put through their paces in a warm-weather training camp in Turkey ahead of their double-header against Ireland, with Gatland naming his 31 for the World Cup on Sunday, September 1 after the game in Cardiff and before the trip to Dublin.

They have travelled as number one in the world rankings - “We will see after the World Cup where we stand but it’s not a bad statement and it’s something we are proud of" - after responding to a 33-19 defeat at Twickenham with a 13-6 success against England at Principality Stadium.

"The warm-up games are Test matches and you could see that against England with the way that both teams performed," said Moriarty.

"At Twickenham we weren't quite at the races in the first 20 minutes but we knew that we did well to keep them tryless in the second half. We knew if we kept that physicality up for the whole game we were in with a good shout.

"Training has been very tough on everyone but we had a good kick up the backside after Twickenham. We knew what needed to be done, as a pack we knew we had to turn up the physicality because nobody likes to be dominated. I think we dominated them this time."