Mike Ruddock's reign as Wales coach began in style with a 42-0 win over the Barbarians at Ashton Gate - but the victory was marred by an injury to star full-back Gareth Thomas.
Thomas, Wales' record international try-scorer, was stretched off midway through the second half.
He appeared to be suffering from an ankle ligament injury, casting major doubt over his Wales tour prospects in Argentina and South Africa next month.
His departure took the gloss off a sound Welsh display that featured tries for Thomas, Rhys Williams, Dwayne Peel, Gavin Henson, Hal Luscombe and Ceri Sweeney, while fly-half Sweeney added a further 12 points from the boot.
It was the first time that the Barbarians had failed to score in a fixture since Newport beat them 30-0, 26 years ago.
New boss Ruddock had talked about evolution, rather than revolution, after replacing New Zealander Steve Hansen in the hot seat, but the Barbarians, 40-33 victors over Scotland at Murrayfield last Saturday, began strongly and put Wales under pressure deep inside
their own 22.
Wales struck first when Sweeney, a member of the stricken Celtic Warriors team and set to join Newport Gwent Dragons next term, weaved his way over for a 12th-minute try that he also converted.
Wales were immediately back on the offensive, and they almost added a second try from Thomas' break, but Baa-baas centre Nathan Grey provided defensive cover in the nick of time to deny scrum-half Peel.
A Sweeney penalty after 27 minutes extended Wales' lead to 10 points, and with gaps starting to appear out wide, they began stretching the Barbarians' defence.
Sweeney's second successful penalty, after Grey was sin-binned for a technical offence by Scottish referee Rob Dickson, moved Wales further towards the comfort zone, and they ended the first half in control.
The Barbarians made an interval substitution, replacing full-back Bruce Reihana with French star Thomas Castaignede, but it was Wales who launched an immediate offensive through wing Rhys Williams.
The attack fizzled out, yet Wales only had to wait another two minutes for their second try, and it arrived from a well-worked move.
Centre Sonny Parker and lock Gareth Llewellyn linked well in midfield, allowing wing Shane Williams to cut back inside and send Thomas over for a touchdown that Sweeney converted.
Wales also gained a penalty from the restart, awarded after Barbarians hooker Matt Sexton recklessly lunged at Thomas, but their satisfaction was tempered somewhat by an injury to flanker Jason Forster.
Forster, one of three uncapped players selected to tour next month, limped off nursing what appeared to be a knee problem, and he was replaced by Llanelli Scarlets forward Dafydd Jones.
With a 20-point advantage, Wales looked to start broadening their horizons, and they soon collected a third try when Rhys Williams crossed in the corner.
It now appeared to be a damage limitation exercise for the Barbarians, who could offer
little in response, and Wales sensed further scores.
England veteran Jason Leonard, fresh from Harlequins' Parker Pen Challenge Cup final victory over Montferrand last Saturday, joined the action as a Baa-baas replacement on 54 minutes. As at the Madejski Stadium four days ago, he received a standing ovation.
But as the Baa-baas ran out of steam, Wales completed the job with three further tries, and Ruddock could feel satisfied at a job well done.
The Wales coach now faces an anxious wait before discovering how much of a role star full-back Thomas will play on next month's tour.
Thomas is due to sign for twice-European champions Toulouse on Thursday, and Ruddock can only hope that he will be fit for when Wales leave for Argentina on Friday week.
"Gareth is up and about, but we wont know a lot more for a day or so," said Ruddock.
"We would be gutted if we lost him for the tour, the last thing we want to do is lose a catalyst like him. Even if he misses the first Test against Argentina, I would still be looking to take him."
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21 April 2017, 7:22pm
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