Warren Gatland Steers Wales into World Cup Ready

With a near perfect World Cup training trip to Switzerland in the bank, Wales coach Warren Gatland has steered his squad into a very good place, according to Wales Online rugby editor Delme Parfitt.

“If Gatland pauses to reflect as he settles into his seat for the flight to Doha and a second training camp, he will conclude that the positives vastly outweigh the negatives for stage two of Wales’ World Cup preparation,” Parfitt writes.

“When the Swiss camp wound to a close in Fiesch, Gatland sat down with fitness chief Paul Stridgeon and the rest of his backroom staff and discussed whether there was actually any need to go to Spala in Poland in mid-August.

“When the original decision was made to head back to the venue that served Wales so well ahead of the 2011 tournament, the New Zealander had listened to some concerns among his staff that it would look like they were reverting to the same old methods.

“Gatland dismissed them, saying image counted for nought if returning to Poland was the right thing to do. At the time it seemed as though it was.

“But the intensity of Switzerland changed his mind, as did the counsel of Stridgeon, Wales’ energiser of a conditioning guru whose authority and infectious enthusiasm so lifted the atmosphere in Fiesch.

“Gatland is keenly aware of more than 60,000 tickets having been sold for the Millennium Stadium clash with Wales’ Six Nations rivals [Ireland].

“Expect to see more heavy artillery unleashed for that one … just keep your fingers crossed all the key personnel come through unscathed. World Cup year tends to when the slings and arrows of rugby fortune are at their most deadly.

“[Gatland] may well place store in the immortal words of golf legend Gary Player: ‘The harder I practice, the luckier I get.’”

Original article by Delme Parfitt, Wales Online, July 17, 2015.

Tags: Rugby World Cup  Wales Online  Warren Gatland  

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