Springbok head of athletic performance Aled Walters says the team is ready for anything the Japanese conditions can throw at them during of the World Cup.
Tokyo’s temperatures climbed towards a muggy 30˚C on an overcast day while the Boks sweated through a gym session.
Walters said he was content on how preparations had gone ahead of the opener against the All Blacks on Saturday.
‘We’ve had two good weeks of training here in Japan; the purpose of which was to get in some proper training in tough conditions, which is why we purposefully trained in the hottest part of the day to really get the benefit. Whether it’s 20 degrees or 30 degrees at the weekend I don’t mind; we just have to embrace it mentally.
‘The players have been through the worst we can expect so for that reason I think we have had a massive platform of preparation. We’ve been lucky to have had that time to really get used to the conditions.’
Walters confirmed reports that the players had shed kilogrammes in training sessions, but the Boks had factored the likelihood into their planning.
‘I wouldn’t say it was good or bad it’s just what happens in these conditions,’ Walters said. ‘In a relatively light training session last week, Duane lost three kilos and it was raining so that’s again, something that we’ve become used to. Our dietician is all over our hydration and nutrition protocols which are essential and which are in place so the boys can’t be slacking off in their physical condition.
‘The whole strategy has been in place for the past two weeks and the hydration plan has become a habit for the players – they’re mindful that in the morning before we do anything they monitor their indicators. The food might have been a worry before we came – because it was coming into the unknown – but it has been excellent and the fueling and the refueling has been easy when you’re training and training hard in these conditions.
‘World Rugby has done a great job in that the chefs at the hotels are well prepared in what the majority of teams probably want anyway – it’s exactly like we would get at home.
‘Having said that, last week we were in Kagoshima and we got to experience some great Japanese food as well and that’s the thing you have to embrace and enjoy – what’s different about the World Cup; it’s one of the benefits of coming out here for the tournament; it has been great.’
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