Dealing with the extreme humidity during the World Cup in Japan will not be child’s play for any team, so Wales is looking to avoid slip-ups by splashing baby oil on rugby balls during training.
Warren Gatland’s side begins its campaign against Georgia on Sept. 23, and lubricated balls are one of the many ways in which the Grand Slam winner is mimicking the humid conditions ahead of the contest in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture.
“We’ve been using wet balls and been using baby oil on them as well,” Gatland was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“We’ve taped them up as well and we’ve already been through that process in the camps we had before we’ve been away.
“We have been to two camps where one was at altitude and it was very hot in Switzerland, and then it was the late 30s in Turkey.
“We’ve done as much as we possibly can in terms of dealing with the heat. I think the humidity is going to be a factor. . . it’s how we cope with that.”
Late kickoffs on hot days will mean that players must deal with high humidity and a slippery ball.
“Players who have been to New Zealand will have experienced that,” Gatland added.
“I come from Hamilton, it’s incredibly humid there. We know what it’s like and have players who have experienced a lot of night rugby so we feel we’ve prepared well.
“We’re looking forward to it.”