KUMAMOTO, 13 Oct - Coach Warren Gatland says Wales have never been in a better place to challenge for the World Cup after setting up a quarter-final clash against France next Sunday.
A Wales side showing 13 changes from the team that defeated Fiji sealed top spot in Pool D with a sloppy, slapdash but ultimately convincing victory over a plucky Uruguay.
But Gatland revealed he expects to have a fully-fit squad to choose from for the game against France at Oita Stadium.
Fly-half Dan Biggar, who left the field against Fiji with a head injury, was able to take part in the warm-up before Sunday's game and is expected to pass his return-to-play protocols while centre Jonathan Davies (knee) and winger George North (ankle) are also recovering well.
"We have all 31 players available for the first time since we got here, which is a great position for us to be in going into the knockout stages," said Gatland.
"We’re in a good place, it’s about creating momentum and making the most of your opportunities.
"Alun Wyn Jones probably said it best, there are 240 minutes left to do something special. For us, that’s something to really focus on.
"We are pleased with what we have achieved in the last couple of years, especially in games that matter, so we have a lot of belief within the team and we know we are in good shape physically, we know the work we’ve put in.
"There is a massive motivation to win the quarter-final because you win that and you know you’re here until the end of the tournament and the boys don’t want to go home next week.
"We cannot take for granted our recent good record against France, we have to focus on Sunday. They will be a little fresher than us, but we feel battle-hardened. They are undefeated like us so it should be a great match.”
Wales scored five tries against Uruguay and also had four disallowed - three to Hallam Amos after careless forward passes - while fellow winger Josh Adams kept in the running for the tournament's top try-scorer with his fifth of the RWC.
But it needed late tries from the scrum-half duo of Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies - both on as replacements - to put the gloss on the scoreline as Wales finished with a perfect pool record for the first time since 1987.
"When you look back at previous tournaments we have done well in, there has been a performance that wasn’t the prettiest and that wasn’t the prettiest tonight, but we dug in and I thought the bench was good," Gatland said.
"The scoreline probably reflected the difference between the teams. But I have to take my hat off to Uruguay – I thought they were tenacious. They never gave up and kept on making tackles."
Prop Nicky Smith gave Wales the lead on 17 minutes after relentless Welsh pressure as he picked up and powered over from close range for his first test try in his 34th appearance.
But Wales committed far too many handling errors as they tried to run the ball at every opportunity with the players knowing it was the final chance to impress the coach.
With fly-half Felipe Berchesi coolly slotting over two penalties, Uruguay went into the interval trailing by one point despite Wales having dominated territory and possession.
Uruguay were clearly pumped up by the half-time scoreline and there was a bit of pushing-and-shoving between the players as they went down the tunnel.
Any thoughts the South Americans harboured of a famous victory were dispelled on 48 minutes as Adams added to his try tally after a floated pass from fly-half Rhys Patchell.
The Cardiff Blues flier is just one try away from matching the Welsh record in a World Cup.
A penalty try increased the lead shortly after flanker Santiago Civetta was sent to the sin-bin, but Uruguay got the consolation score their dogged display deserved - maintaining their record of scoring a try in every game in the pool - when hooker German Kessler powered over from close range.
Wales were stung into a quick riposte with Williams scurrying over, above, before Davies raced clear after the final buzzer had sounded to add another, top.
"Our aim is to show our evolution through our play and performance and I think we have achieved that," said Uruguay's coach Esteban Meneses.
"We were able to play on a par with Wales and hang on to half-time. Although the score widened in the second-half we were able to shock Wales at times. The aim now is to take our game to the next level."