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Hulking Welsh prop Tomas Francis admits 'fitness has come a long way'

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Wales prop Tomas Francis knows the squad must make the most of their punishing high-altitude training camp in the Swiss Alps to stay strong for the challenges ahead.

The idea behind the location is the players’ bodies will become more accustomed to recovering when there is less oxygen available, which should then help it be used more efficiently out at the World Cup in Japan.

Wales secured the Six Nations Grand Slam with a 14th successive win in March and are the form team in international rugby, only behind New Zealand in the world rankings.

Warren Gatland’s men have not tasted defeat since losing to Ireland in February 2018 as they prepare for upcoming Test matches against both England and Ireland before fine-tuning World Cup preparations ahead of their opening match against Georgia in Toyota on September 23.

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Exeter tighthead prop Tomas Francis is ready to step up as he continues his personal development since an international debut four years ago.

“When you’re first in camp, you’re trying to make that impression, try and make the most of it and keep up,” Francis said on the Welsh Rugby Union website.

“Since then my fitness has come a long way, but the game has moved on at the same pace. I’m fitter, but everyone else is fitter and stronger. That’s the way the game has gone.

“You’ve got to be able to do so much more now.

“Every player has different strengths and, as Gats (Warren Gatland) says – you have got to have your point of difference. Whatever that is, you have to be the best.”

After altitude training in the Swiss Alps, Wales will have home and away warm-up internationals against England in August followed by warm-weather work in Turkey.

They have a home international against Ireland on August 31, and Gatland will name his final 31-man squad the following week.

– PA

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Hulking Welsh prop Tomas Francis admits 'fitness has come a long way'