Wales are hungrier than ever for World Cup glory following the shock departure of backs coach Rob Howley, and they are "circling the wagons" before their opening game against Georgia.
That is according to forwards coach Robin McBryde, who has praised the players' response to Howley's exit.
He was sent home on Tuesday because of an alleged betting breach, just six days before Monday's opener.
"They're more willing to take a lot more responsibility," McBryde said.
"They have input into training a little bit more than they would have in the past.
"Off the back of that, because of that ownership, the intensity of our training yesterday was the best it's ever been.
"There's a duty that we need to fulfil. The preparations have gone well up to date.
"There was a little bit of a feeling of circling the wagons and not allowing anything to influence the environment we've created.
"It's important we start with a bang."
News of Howley's departure emerged on Tuesday night, with the WRU confirming he had "returned to Wales to assist with an investigation" in relation to a potential breach of betting on rugby.
Head coach Warren Gatland spoke of his "shock" on Wednesday, and the incident had a similar effect on McBryde who, like Howley, has been a part of Gatland's coaching staff since the New Zealander's appointment in 2007.
"It's tough, we've been together for a quite a bit of time. It's unfortunate that he has to go through this," said McBryde.
"He has been a great servant, both as a player and a coach. This was our swansong as a coaching group so it's unfortunate we've got to go through this.
"He's a good man and a good friend. It's sad to see someone have to go through it."
Wales have appointed former Scarlets backs coach Stephen Jones as Howley's replacement.
Jones had already been named as Wales' future backs coach, as part of next head coach Wayne Pivac's staff who will succeed Gatland at the end of the World Cup.
McBryde, who played alongside former fly-half Jones for Wales and the Scarlets, believes Howley's successor will settle in quickly.
"It's a great opportunity to get his feet under the table a little bit earlier than was planned," he added.
"He'll benefit the coaching group, which starts following the World Cup."
Wales name their team to face Georgia at 04:00 BST on Saturday, and it appears Dragons back-rower Aaron Wainwright could be in line to start.
The 21-year-old impressed in recent World Cup matches against England and Ireland, prompting McBryde to liken him to former Wales and British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton.
"He's definitely a player with that growth still there. He's still learning the game," he said of Wainwright.
"He's in fantastic condition. He's put some good weight on and he's able to maintain that weight with all the running we've done.
"His skills work is still on the up and set-piece work as well. He's going to be around for a number of years. The potential he has got is to grow.
"I don't like to compare people to other players but he is very reminiscent of a young Sam Warburton with the way he carries the ball.
"Both in attack and defence, he's very physical. He enjoys that part of the game. He could even be better than Sam, though!"