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
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference