The WRU have received yet another technical edge through their partnership with Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE: UA), when every member of Warren Gatland's 34-man squad was fitted for Under Armour Performance Mouthwear.
Under Armour Performance Mouthwear is an innovative new line of custom mouthpieces and mouthguards that provide athletes in any sport the ability to unlock their full potential. UA Performance Mouthwear powered by ArmourBite™ Technology can help any athlete improve strength, endurance and reaction time, reduce athletic stress, and with the mouthguard, reduce impact from blows to the jaw.
The performance benefits and protections of ArmourBite Technology arrive for the team just ahead of the fourth round of the RBS Six Nation's tournament, which kicks-off Saturday, 13th March when Wales face Ireland at Croke Park. The Wales - Ireland matchup is always a key game in the tournament; spectators are assured a major effort from both teams with every player put to the test. It is for this sort of activity exactly that Under Armour's Performance Mouthwear was designed.
When athletes exert themselves, clenching the jaw is a natural reaction. Teeth-clenching, however, triggers the excess production and release of hormones, such as cortisol, that produce stress, fatigue and distraction, hindering an athlete's performance. ArmourBite Technology in UA Performance Mouthwear prevents an athlete's teeth from clenching, relieves pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and prevents the excessive production of performance-sapping hormones.
The players are phasing in this new technological advance for match days, with gum-shields being a particularly personal piece of kit.
ArmourBite, the patented technology in UA Performance Mouthwear, was created by Under Armour's partner Bite Tech, Inc., a US-based company that has spent over 15 years conducting research and science on developing mouthwear products that improve athletic performance.
The likes of fly-half Stephen Jones, full-back Lee Byrne, and prop Paul James are reaping the benefits of the innovative Performance Mouthwear along with a long list of American sporting heroes, including Adrian Peterson, Running Back, Minnesota Vikings; Hunter Mahan, PGA Pro; Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers, NGL All-Star; David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox; and Chris McCormack, Pro Triathlete, AUS Olympian and 2-Time Kona World Champion.
"I really like the concept behind the technology and have been wearing the mouthguard in all the Six Nations matches so far. The idea behind them has some real merits; you've got to try anything that can give you an edge at this level. I'm fascinated by the potential these guards have to enhance performance on the pitch," said Jones.
"I've been using it in place of my normal mouthguard in matches and am getting more and more comfortable with it. The body is obviously under intense pressure, in the scrums in particular for a prop, and it's in those kinds of moments when the technology is designed to give you an edge. It's not something you think about during the heat of the battle, but it's great to know the scientists behind this technology have done that thinking for you," added James.
About Under Armour, Inc.
Under Armour® (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand's moisture-wicking synthetic fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate to provide a performance alternative to traditional natural fiber products.
The company's products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, with European headquarters in Amsterdam's Olympic Stadium, and additional offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, Guangzhou, China and Jakarta, Indonesia.
For further information, please visit the company's website at www.underarmour.com
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.