The Welsh Rugby Union has appointed Dr Adam Carey as Head of Nutrition and Life-style management for the Group, a position which he will hold up to and including the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
Dr Carey comes to Welsh rugby with an impressive track record in sports nutrition - which includes work with the British Olympic Association, Leicester City Football Club and the England rugby team which won the World Cup in 2003 - and a media profile which has seen him contribute to television programmes like 'Celebrity Fit Club', 'Change The Day You Die' and 'The Truth About Size Zero'.
His role will primarily involve supporting the development of players at regional, club and age group level, ensuring that young rugby players are coming through the system with the right values and habits as well as encompassing delivery to the Welsh national squad.
National squad performance manager Craig White, who has overseen the new appointment, says Dr Carey's brief will be wide ranging and success in the role will mean a sea change in attitudes towards nutrition and ultimately improve the health of the whole nation.
"Adam has the expertise to make a positive impact on Welsh rugby that will be long lasting and pervasive," said White.
"The role is primarily about education and Adam will be putting structures and long term strategies in place to provide a legacy for Welsh rugby meaning the players of tomorrow, and for years to come, reap the benefits.
"The statistics tell us that Wales is not a healthy nation and habits need to change for everyone in all walks of life. Adam's profile, knowledge and expertise will help us begin to put that right throughout the rugby community."
Dr Carey will oversee a proactive approach to nutrition at regional level in the same way that Wales' fitness coaches share their services out to the Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and the Scarlets and strong links will also be maintained with the WRU's Head of Rugby Development Joe Lydon and National Performance Manager Huw Wiltshire, to ensure consistency of approach throughout the WRU from grass roots level leading through to the national squad.
He will also work with White at the national level of the game and is assisted by nutritionist Jon Williams, who is affiliated directly with the national squad.
"The scientific nutritional support that can be made available today is both a powerful and undervalued tool," said Dr Carey.
"We will be taking on the good work already being done by national squad nutritionist Jon Williams and expanding the impact we can make throughout the age groups in Welsh rugby.
"It's still early days for the performance department at the WRU, but in the years to come we will have the strategies and structures in place to ensure that healthy young men and women are produced when they come through our system.
"Sport also has an integral role in defining us as a nation around the world and, in Wales, we want to set the best example. The key to that is education and a co-ordinated consistent approach throughout the WRU."
As well as being a recognised authority on nutrition in the media and science worlds, Dr Carey has extensive medical qualifications initially studying Biochemistry at Swansea University and moving on to read Medicine at Cambridge and then Oxford.
He has also been widely published and pioneered a development of performance nutrition which is now being applied in sports, the performing arts and the corporate world with significant effect.
Dr Carey has been recruited to the role as WRU Head of Nutrition and Life-Style Management on a part-time basis and his immediate focus is on supporting the Welsh Rugby Union's preparations for the 2011 World Cup.
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