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Pivac: Wales players in good physical and mental shape

Pivac: Wales players in good physical and mental shape

Wayne Pivac took over from Warren Gatland after the Rugby World Cup

Wayne Pivac says his Wales players are relishing the opportunity of catching up with the rugby calendar with some revealing that they have benefited from the enforced break.

The head coach has converted to a temporary schoolteacher for his twin stepdaughters during lockdown but has kept in regular contact with the Wales players since the Guinness Six Nations was put on hold back in March.

Wales opened the Championship with a 42-0 victory over Italy but things didn’t go their way thereon, losing out to Ireland, France and England before their match with Scotland was postponed.

But after a lengthy break, Pivac explained the players have recharged their batteries and are ready to go again.

“The feedback is they are feeling great because of the break,” said the 57-year-old.

“They had pre-World Cup camps, a World Cup then coming back with only a few weeks off back into club rugby and international rugby and their bodies were pretty beaten up.

“A lot of them are feeling really good mentally as well as physically for having that time off at this stage of the season.

“In that respect, they are coming back into a little bit of a pre-season phase but that will need to get ramped up when we are allowed to get back together to play meaningful games of rugby without risking the players with injury.

“Talking to the players, they just want to get back, as everybody does, to some sort of normality. The sooner they can get back and train which is essentially what they love doing and are paid to do.

“There are a lot of hoops to jump through between now and then but it will be nice when we do get back.

“We are not quite sure about timings – we are all up in the air in that respect – but it will be a special day when we do get back.

“Speaking to them now, if you told them they had to play six or seven Test matches over a seven or eight weeks they would jump at it and relish the opportunity.”

With the lack of on-field action, the rugby community have come together to do their bit and support those on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the efforts are Wales allowing Principality Stadium to be transformed into a hospital, which has been temporally renamed Dragon’s Heart.

“For what we are learning about this disease, no-one was contemplating talking rugby at this point, it was about what we do to save lives,” added Pivac.

“To have the facility there and available, we would not question that – it was the right thing to do and the people involved need a great pat on the back because to achieve what they have achieved in such a short space of time is a brilliant effort.”