Caretaker coach Scott Johnson believes deposed champions Wales will go to next year's World Cup in France with a stronger squad, despite plunging to fifth place in this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The only Welsh win came against Scotland but Johnson believes the injuries which have hit their season have produced a positive, with new players coming through.
He explained after Saturday's 21-16 defeat to France at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium: "Necessity is the mother of invention and people forget we had 14 guys unavailable through injuries and whatever.
"This tournament has given us the chance to give other guys their chance in the sun. At least it means you can build up a squad for the World Cup.
"It's just about depth and covering the injuries. Some guys grew another leg and will be pressing for game time and that's what you want.
"It's important to have a strong all-round squad when the World Cup comes along."
Johnson paid particular praise to RBS 6 Nations man-of-the-match Mike Phillips, who filled in admirably for Dwayne Peel after the scrum-half suffered a shoulder injury against Italy last weekend.
Johnson added: "We have lost two world-class number nines in Peel and Gareth Cooper. Along comes another kid and I thought he did wonderfully.
"Not many countries can say they have three quality nines.
"He's had a lot of bench time but he's come along and played well. I'm pleased for the boy."
After three games in charge following the departure of last season's Grand Slam-winning coach Mike Ruddock, Johnson will soon have to make a decision on whether to stay with Wales or return home to take up a position with the Australian national side.
But he said: "It's right and proper to talk to your employer and the players and I'll do that before I talk to anyone else."
Wales did not fall behind until late in the second half and Johnson admitted: "I'm disappointed. The scoreboard doesn't reflect the effort once again.
"We won the game everywhere except on the scoreboard - but that's the game of rugby.
"We had some firm position in the second half but we didn't take control of the game.
"Then we couldn't clear our line and hold field position for some time - and that cost us the match."
But Johnson refused to blame the second half disallowed try, when left-winger Shane Williams was denied a touchdown in the corner with the video referee ruling that France stand-off Frederic Michalak had grounded the ball first.
Johnson accepted: "Calls go either way and you have to accept it and get on with it.
"We probably should have won the game prior to that. There are 80 minutes and we had our chances but couldn't finish them off."
Wales captain Michael Owen said: "It was a performance full of effort.
"We have been disappointed with the tournament as a whole but we have got to keep on digging in and we'll get there."
The skipper does not believe speculation over the future of Johnson had any effect on the side, adding: "To be fair to Scott it hasn't been mentioned all week.
"He has been a big part of everything we have achieved over the last three or four years and we know what we owe him."
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.