Wales Rugby Union group chief executive Roger Lewis has described coach Warren Gatland as "buoyant" about the prospect of the country's winter fixture list following his return from a stint as British and Irish Lions forwards coach.
Gatland is back in Wales following his time with the Lions during the recent tour to South Africa and has the task of planning ahead as the current RBS Six Nations holders prepare to take on New Zealand, Samoa, Argentina and Australia.
"Warren is in buoyant mood, the tour finished on a high with a win over the Springboks and those players, coaches and back room staff who have represented Wales on the tour have done both themselves and their nation proud and learnt a great deal," said Lewis.
"But there is nothing like the looming prospect of playing a trio of teams positioned significantly higher than you in the IRB World ranking systems, together with Samoa who are only three spots behind, to help focus the mind on the task ahead - the Invesco Perpetual Series to be played out at the Millennium Stadium this November.
"The Lions may have lost the series, but they finished with a victory and Warren and his coaches and players are now tasked with continuing that momentum as they build towards kicking off the international season against the All Blacks on November 7."
Lewis also believes the number of Welsh coaches who were part of the Lions' entourage will have benefited from the experience gleaned in the past few weeks.
"Our coaches including Warren, Rob Howley, Shaun Edwards, Neil Jenkins and Craig White and analysts Rhys Long and Rhodri Bown return to Wales richer for the experience of a magnificent tour and our players will stand taller knowing the integral part they played in making it a success," added Lewis.
"Credit must go to the whole of Northern Hemisphere rugby, Ian McGeechan and his team and all of the Lions for what they achieved in that third Test, but the great thing from a Welsh perspective is our squad have an opportunity now to pick up where the Lions left off with a fixture list we have created this Autumn which provides top quality world opposition."
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