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Warren Gatland Describes The Bizarre World Cup Training Methods Wales Have Undertaken

Warren Gatland Describes The Bizarre World Cup Training Methods Wales Have Undertaken
By Colman Stanley Updated
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Warren Gatland is known for putting his Wales teams of the past through gruelling training regimes in preparation for the World Cup, which has seen them often exceeded expectations at the tournament and made them incredibly difficult to break down.

After the double blow of Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric retiring from international rugby, the mishandling of Rhys Carré being dropped from the squad, the injury to Ken Owens, and the general poor state of the WRU and Welsh rugby, Gatland will need something miraculous from his squad to cause any upsets at this year's World Cup.

In a recent interview, Gatland described how he is mentally prepping his side for the upcoming tournament, but his new methods seemed to have gone beyond anything we have seen from him in the past:

Well, every time someone says that to me the headline seems to be ‘brutal this and that’ and I am going ...they are tough but every training session is not brutal, every training session there might be an element of conditioning, fitness or power endurance - the boys are in the gym - and we are making sure we do our skill work.

Warren Gatland Has Some Fairly Extreme Training Methods For His Wales Team

11 December 2000; Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer, right, does some stretching exercises under the watchful eye of coach Warren Gatland during training. Ireland Rugby Squad Training, ALSAA training grounds, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

READ HERE: Warren Gatland Talks Up Andy Farrell For British And Irish Lions Manager In Australia


In the most remarkable part of the interview, he described training with the army and psychologically challenging his players with methods that sound eerily similar to water-boarding.


"We went to the Green Mile with the army and it was a brilliant day but it wasn’t brutal," continued Gatland.

"It was more from a psychological challenge that we put them through. They did some power endurance stuff, they were carrying logs uphill and then having to go into a pool. We were talking about putting them in uncomfortable positions, where ‘how do you bring your heart rate down? How do you get your composure back?


"They did some stuff where we had them put in hoods, having water tipped over them when they weren’t expecting it. Babies crying, things going off, and it wasn’t a full day.

"We went there in the morning and finished about 1pm. The boys had a bit of lunch, we put some beers on - some had a beer and stayed there for about an hour and enjoyed each other’s company and had some laughs, had some photos with the guys, presented them with a jersey, it was a really good company that was a little bit different."

Perhaps the methods are not quite as bad they sound, but they do seem excessive, and the baby crying sounds and hood techniques seem almost comical for a professional rugby team in 2023.


However, given the shambles of Welsh Rugby at the minute, maybe Gatland feels that he needs to do something drastic to have his side perform in France?

SEE ALSO: Ireland U20s Make Four Changes For Defining Clash With Australia

24 February 2023; Brian Gleeson of Ireland in action against Alex Mattioli of Italy during the U20 Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Italy and Ireland at Stadio Comunale di Monigo in Parma, Italy. Photo by Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

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