Our new kit was unveiled. On Saturday morning, our fans got their first glimpse of the new national squad kit – always a highly-anticipated occasion – which was launched at the National Centre of Excellence in eye-catching fashion. The green away jersey also generated considerable chatter across the Twittersphere.
Warren Gatland told the squad “we’re going to have to get better”. This was in #TheTeamRoom, an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight where WRU takes you into the national squad’s inner sanctum. The head coach gave his players a timely reminder of what he expects from them in the coming months.
Alun Wyn Jones committed his future to Wales. A news story that brought huge delight to fans was broken via the man himself on his Instagram page, announcing that he has extended his deal with the Welsh Rugby Union and Ospreys through to June 2021.
Our national team is already having an impact in Japan. First, an observant Welshman spotted the dragon in our host city of Kitakyushu, and then we had a phenomenal performance of our anthem by a group of Japanese children. All of this is a happy by-product of several rewarding engagement projects undertaken by the WRU in the country – one of which is taking place as we speak – since it was announced that Japan would become the first Asian nation to host the Rugby World Cup.
Wales touched down in Switzerland for their first overseas training camp. In the Fiesch region of the Swiss Alps, Warren Gatland’s men will be ‘living high and training low’ – that is, staying at high altitude where there is less oxygen, and training much lower in the valley where they will benefit from an increased amount of oxygen. Sports science speak to one side, George North described training as ‘brutal’, but the gains Wales made here in 2015 suggest it will be very much worth the pain and effort.
“If it’s not fun, we don’t do it.” We reminded aspiring female players about the rugby hubs that cater specifically for girls and women across Wales, which are creating life-long friendships along the way.
The squad underwent medical screenings. In the second of our #TeamBehindTheTeam features (watch the first here) we saw how players’ physical welfare is analysed, from cardiac to dental health, in order to ensure they are in a good place going into the World Cup and the new rugby season.
*Before Wales fly to Japan for the World Cup, they’ll be competing in the Under Armour Summer Series at Principality Stadium against England (Saturday 17th August) and Ireland (Saturday 31st August). Buy your tickets here.