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Wales bring out baby oil to prepare for humid World Cup

Wales bring out baby oil to prepare for humid World Cup
FILE PHOTO: Wales head coach Warren Gatland, shown in a file photo watching his side prepare ahead of a test, will step down after the World Cup and return home to New Zealand. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden/File Photo -
Rebecca Naden(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Dealing with the extreme humidity during the World Cup in Japan will not be child’s play for any team, so Wales are keen to avoid slip-ups by splashing baby oil on rugby balls in training.

Warren Gatland’s side begin their campaign against Georgia on Sept. 23, and lubricated balls are one of the many ways in which the Grand Slam winners are mimicking conditions ahead of the contest in Toyota.

“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.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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