Wales scrap Poland training camp

Date published: July 17 2015

Wales have cancelled their training camp in Poland, which was scheduled, for August and will continue their training at home instead.

Head coach Warren Gatland's 47-man squad were set to be based in Spala between August 16 and August 23 but a Welsh Rugby Union press release revealed that the squad's recent training camp in the Swiss Alps went better than expected.

The squad returned to the UK on Wednesday from an intense 15-day camp in Fiesch, Switzerland and will head to Doha, Qatar on Sunday for a further ten days.

Based on the endurance gains made at altitude and the further gains the players will make in Doha, Wales' management decided the squad will not travel to Spala.

Wales have made huge gains both physically and mentally from their first Rugby World Cup Training camp according to consultant head of physical performance, Paul Stridgeon.

Stridgeon and the management team have reviewed the first camp and are pleased at where the squad are in their preparation.

"Firstly we would like to thank the Swiss Rugby Union and the staff at Fiesch Sports for helping create an elite living and training environment which ensured the players made gains both physically and mentally." said Stridgeon.

"We are delighted with how the camp went and we are all looking forward to Doha and the heat stress camp that lies ahead."

The Wales squad will now base themselves at the WRU National Centre of Excellence and will take advantage of the world-class on-site facilities including the altitude chamber and cryotherapy unit as well as the ability to facilitate heat stress training in the indoor pitch, which can be heated to 40 degrees Celsius.

"We are ahead of where we want to be and when we reviewed the first camp and the schedule it was felt our time would be better spent using the world class facilities on offer at the Vale," added Stridgeon.

"The altitiude chamber, the heat stress option and the cyrotherapy chamber will compliment our first two camps well and remaining in Wales reduces to travel days which we can use two greater training effect.

"There will be a greater emphasis on the 'rugby' side of training at that point and we benefit more by staying here in Wales."

Reviewing the squad's two-week stay in Fiesch in greater detail, Stridgeon added he couldn't be happier where the squad are at.

"It was a fantastic two weeks," he said.

"The facilities were brilliant but more important the attitude and dedication from the squad was spot on.

"There was full buy-in from everyone in what we are doing and the culture here is like nothing else. We couldn't have asked anymore from the squad.

"The intensity of the whole camp was fantastic. The players responded to the training better than we expected and therefore the performance improvements were better than expected.

"I spoke to the squad before we left and told them I have never been involved with a team that has got through so much work in such a short space of time.

"The gains are there and clear to see. We ended the camp with a power endurance session similar to one we did three weeks ago. Back then they found it very tough, this time around we struggled to get their heart rates over 90% in the same session in 35 degree heat.

"The players have a couple of days rest now, will go home, get some time with the family and come back in ready for a great heat stress camp in Doha."