The Wales squad will face temperatures ranging from 42 degrees to minus 150 degrees, will sleep in normobaric hypoxic chambers and will train in surroundings ranging from the deserts of Qatar to the peaks of the Swiss Alps as part of their gruelling preparation for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Wales’ full schedule for 2015 will see Warren Gatland’s squad undergo intensive training camps in Switzerland, Qatar and Poland as well as face home and away ties against Ireland before concluding their preparations against Italy at the Millennium Stadium.
The programme is the culmination of months of research and planning and WRU head of physical performance, Adam Beard, who also designed the 2011 schedule, is delighted to formally announce the squad’s plans.
“The next year will be an extremely exciting and challenging period for the squad,” said Beard.
“We have developed a rigorous schedule that we believe will give the players the best possible platform at the Rugby World Cup.
“We are working alongside leading experts in Switzerland and Qatar to deliver a leading programme and combined with our facilities at the Centre of Excellence the players will have the best of preparation.”
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis added: “Warren and his team constantly strive to push the boundaries of performance and excellence and the schedule they have developed will ensure Wales arrive at the Rugby World Cup fully prepared.
“Four years ago the squad reaped the rewards of their intense and extended training programme at the world cup in New Zealand and we will be hoping for the same again come next September and October.
“The WRU has and will continue to provide the best facilities, environment and opposition for our national squad as they continue their quest.”
Gatland will announce an extended training squad in early June, with the players meeting up at the state-of-the-art National Centre of Excellence during that month to be put through their paces to prepare for what lies ahead.
The first training camp will see the squad travel to Fiesch in Switzerland in early July, spending a fortnight at the highly regarded training facility. The squad will base themselves at 2250m for an intensive block of training, working to a stimulus of living at high altitude whilst training at low altitude.
The Wales management team, in particular Beard, have been working closely with leading hypoxic altitude physiology expert, Prof. Gr