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
Wales Sevens are looking to re-group after a disappointing tournament last time out in South Africa. The next double leg in New Zealand and Las Vegas offers Gareth Williams a chance to redeem themselves.
Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was at Llandovery to see the conclusion of an entertaining Women's Regional championship where any one of three teams were in contention for title glory on the last day of action.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.