Wales women's coach Jason Lewis admits his side had the confidence knocked out of them following a disastrous RBS 6 Nations but says it may do them of the power of good ahead of the World Cup.
After two consecutive second place finishes in the Championship – which included a first ever defeat of rivals England – thoughts were turning to silverware.
Instead they had to make do with the wooden spoon in a tournament in which everything that could have gone wrong, did.
Things will not get any easier in August with Wales being in a group with Southern Hemisphere sides Australia, South Africa and defending champions New Zealand.
But Lewis, who has selected an initial 23-strong squad with three extra places up for grabs between six players, maintains his squad can bounce back.
He said: “Out of adversity comes some tough but good learning experiences.
“Year on year women’s rugby is improving and if you stand still you actually go backwards.
“Maybe we were slightly complacent going into the Six Nations off what we had achieved in the past two years but that certainly won’t be the case going forward.
“We had a full review involving individuals, the squad and the management. As coach I am responsible for their performances and I needed some self reflection on my own role afterwards.
“I would be lying if I said confidence has not taken a knock after the Six Nations so one of the things we need to do as a coaching group is build it back up again.
“Probably the main thing is that we have gone back to basics. We need to recapture the approach that brought us success in the first place.”
Mellissa Berry and Jamie Kift will co-captain the team with the former switching from centre to the back row while Louise Rickard, who has gained over a century of caps in the back three, is competing for a second-row berth as one of the six players trying to squeeze into the final 26.
With only one team qualifying automatically from each of the four groups, Wales’ hopes of qualifying as the best runner-up for the semi-finals are slim meaning the scalp of the All Ferns to progress.
“I think the structure of the competition is limiting when you are in group like ours,” added
“Having New Zealand in our group makes it very difficult to progress to the last four.
“Unlike other pools we don’t have a ‘weak’ team in our group, so we know we effectively have to win all three games.
“We are not looking beyond our pool but if we win our first two games then who knows.”