DRAGONS flanker Aaron Wainwright is confident that Wales will reap the rewards of a bruising summer when they lock horns with Georgia's big pack in their World Cup opener.

Warren Gatland's men travel to Japan on the back of three losses from their four warm-up fixtures, their sole success being the win against England in Cardiff that earned a short stay on top of World Rugby's rankings.

The head coach is unfazed by the disappointments and insists that Wales are on track ahead of the tournament, which pits them against Australia, Fiji and Uruguay after the Georgians.

They headed into the summer on the back of 14 successive Test wins but Wainwright, whose stock has risen thanks to workaholic displays, relished the chance to learn valuable lessons from going up against fellow contenders for the Webb Ellis Trophy.

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"If we have to put in some not so good performances it's better to do that now than in Japan," said Wainwright.

"That's the main thing – the games when we get there. Hopefully we can put this behind us. When we get on the plane we'll be putting this all behind us and concentrate on our pool games. Georgia first up is massive.

"I think we're in a pretty good place. Even though we've lost three out of four, we've still got lots out of them and we've got stuff we haven't shown yet.

"We're going to be ready for the first game and we're excited to see what the pool has to offer."

To that end, the second Ireland game served its purpose with Wales struggling to come to terms with their hosts' direct approach.

Gatland said they "probably gave Georgia a template for how to play against us" and will expect his players to win more collisions in the tournament opener.

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"It was a good, physical game. We spent most of the second half defending and we knew they had some big forwards and that they would come off nine a lot," said Wainwright.

"We struggled to get out of our half in the second half, but it was a good physical battle. We're just disappointed not to have put a better performance in and we're gutted with the loss."

"We had to defend a lot and we learned we shouldn't give away as many penalties as we did.

"If we'd done that we probably wouldn't have had to defend as much as we did. Possibly we didn't have as many positive attacking outcomes as we'd have liked. "

Wainwright heads to Japan as a serious contender for a back row start after impressing in all four warm-up games, three of his caps won with 6 on his back.

The 21-year-old from Bassaleg, who turns 22 two days after the Georgia fixture, made his international debut with a cameo in Argentina last summer but is now likely to at the very least be in the matchday 23 on the opening weekend of the World Cup.

"I wouldn't even have thought about that a year ago," he said. "It's been a long journey and with all the pre-season work I've put in I feel fit and ready to go. I'm looking to embrace the experience."