Extensively used across the world of horse racing, the spa exposes animals, and now humans, to aerated, salted water at temperatures of around 2 degrees centigrade. The effect is to increase blood flow which in turn aids recovery.
"The players have been using ice baths to aid their recovery after training and matches for some time. But the equine spa allows up to seven or eight players to be treated together and allows the temperature to remain constant," said Wales Fitness Coach, Mark Bennett.
"The players' natural body temperature used to melt the ice, whereas the temperature remains constant in the spa. The ice bath temperatures don't get below 9 degrees, about the same as stepping into the sea in winter, whereas the spa can take the temperature much lower than that to offer even greater benefit.
"All the players used it for the first time this week and they will be using it regularly throughout the championship."
The spa has been provided to the Welsh team for the duration of their championship defence by Ean Branston, a farmer turned businessman from Cheltenham who sells them throughout Europe. The fibreglass structure measures 8ft by 7.5ft, with the inside chamber measuring 8ft by 4ft, and costs around £40,000 to buy.
"There are dozens of these equine spas in use in the racing world with some stables having three or four of them. This is the first time they have been used specifically for sportsmen in the UK, although there is one in Ireland that has been used by some Gaelic footballers," said Branston.