TOKYO – Rugby World Cup favourites New Zealand had their first training run in Japan on Tuesday with the players quickly having to adjust from the winter temperatures of back home to the sweltering heat of their Kashiwa base.
The All Blacks arrived in Tokyo on Monday and were able to get to their hotel in Kashiwa, north of Tokyo, after a two-hour delay caused by the aftermath of Typhoon Faxai.
England's squad were not so fortunate and were grounded at Narita Airport for six hours while Australia delayed their departure for Japan to ensure they missed the storm and arrived late on Monday.
All Blacks scrumhalf Brad Weber said they were well prepared for the 20 Celsius swing in temperature, with the mercury touching the mid-30s on Tuesday.
“We had a few strategies when we were back home to try and be in hot conditions,” Weber told reporters. “We were well prepared for the heat here.”
☀️ Bucket hats, sun screen and hydration are key as temperatures soar in Kashiwa. Get the full update on the All Blacks first day in Japan from coach Steve Hansen. 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/TTyZAvE00u— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 10, 2019
Weber added that the conditions were similar to those teams experienced in pre-season training for Super Rugby, which normally starts in early February - the tail-end of the southern hemisphere summer.
“For me, it's just like a pre-season.” he said. “It's not like this is something outrageously different that we've never experienced - it's just a summer in New Zealand.
“The humidity is maybe a little bit different, but it's nothing outrageous I don't think.”
The All Blacks open their campaign for a third successive World Cup title against South Africa on Sept. 21 in Yokohama.Reuters