Water breaks, fans & ice jackets

Fri, 31 May 2013 13:11
Large alex cuthbert cools down Large stuart hogg with lions masc Large b i lions with fans

Water breaks, pitchside fans and ice jackets will help keep the B&I Lions cool against the Barbarians on Hong Kong's hottest day this year.

Water breaks, pitchside fans and ice jackets will help keep the British and Irish Lions cool against the Barbarians on what is set to be Hong Kong's hottest day this year.

The four water time-outs, unique in Lions history, will help players stay hydrated in the expected 30°C-plus (86°F) temperatures and humidity of up to 90 percent, despite Saturday's 19.30 (11.30 GMT) kick-off at Hong Kong Stadium.

The unprecedented move has been agreed between the teams' medical staff and match officials, with a Lions spokesman telling AFP the breaks were within International Rugby Board (IRB) guidelines for playing in extreme weather.

A day ahead of the tour opener, the Lions' first ever game in Asia, the Hong Kong government issued a "very hot weather warning" as the afternoon mercury rose in excess of 33°C, with similar expected Saturday.

Hong Kong Stadium sits in a sheltered, often windless, valley and given the steamy conditions the measures have been imposed on health and safety grounds to prevent the players losing too much fluid and to combat heat exhaustion.

The match action will be halted for a short time in the 15th, 30th, 55th and 70th minutes to allow the players to take on water and electrolytes.

Lions defence coach Andy Farrell told reporters there would also be cooling fans at the side of pitch and "ice jackets" available for the players to wear at half-time and after the match to cool their core body temperatures.

Despite the meticulous precautions, Farrell said that the players would cope easily with the Asian summer climate as they were "in brilliant nick".

"We've coped really well with the conditions in training, in the morning and afternoon when it's been really hot, so it won't be a problem tomorrow," said Farrell.

"It's just common sense in this heat and humidity to do the right thing. The water breaks will be fast.

"They've got ice vests that they can use. They can take their top off at half-time and put them on to cool their body down," Farrell added.

"Anyway once they are in the game, they are thinking about rugby, they won't be thinking about heat or exhaustion."

Farrell revealed that some players had lost three to four kilos (six to eight pounds) during the first training session in Hong Kong earlier this week, which lasted only one hour.

But he said their hydration levels, weight and urine were being constantly monitored and as the week had gone on they had adjusted well.

"The next day, we had rehydration breaks and fans on the side of the pitch, and the boys only lost one kilogram," Farrell said. "You can lose that in a match at home when it's minus two."

Saturday's game is a prelude to the Lions' tour of Australia, which features three Tests and wraps up in early July.

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 01 October 2016
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Treviso v Scarlets 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Fri, 07 October 2016
Edinburgh v Treviso 18h35 BT Murrayfield
Connacht v Ulster 18h35 Sportsground
Ospreys v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Sale Sharks 18h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 08 October 2016
Leinster v Munster 13h05 Aviva Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Bristol 14h00 Kingston Park
Harlequins v Northampton Saints 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester 14h00 Sandy Park
South Africa v New Zealand 15h05 Durban
Zebre v Glasgow Warriors 15h05 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS