1. ITV Report

Hot rooms and slippery rugby balls – how Wales plan to defeat Japan

Wales’ coaches have taken to sandpapering the grip off their rugby balls and turning up the thermostats in a bid to get their inexperienced squad ready for their summer tour to Japan.

Temperatures are expected to stay consistently around 30 degrees Celsius for the two-test tour while humidity will regularly be at over 90%.

To try and get ahead of the acclimatisation phase of their trip the squad have decided to try and replicate some of the conditions they will face, before flying out on May 30.

All rooms in which the team gather have had the heating turned up in a bid to prepare their bodies. Even the WRU’s gym has been cranked up making workouts more demanding than usual.

While raw heat will play a factor humidity is likely to play an even bigger one, with monthly averages for Osaka, the venue for the first test forecast to be regularly at over 90%.

To try and combat the affects that will have on the ball the coaching staff have taken to making the squad train with balls that have been shorn of all their usual pimpled grip.

The 27 man party that will travel to Japan includes 9 uncapped players including Ospreys pair Dafydd Howells and Dan Baker, Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell and hookers Emyr Phillips (Scarlets) and Scott Baldwin (Ospreys).