Wales‘ international coaches and players at all levels have added their weight to the positive advantages gained by the completion of the new WRU National Centre of Excellence.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland said, “The National Centre of Excellence is about the long term development of the game. In terms of the facility and environment, I haven’t seen anything else that compares. As a one stop facility, this is absolutely fantastic.”
Wales attack coach Rob Howley added, “It just gives us in Wales the opportunity to be the best we can be in world rugby.”
WRU National Academy manager and Wales Under 20 head coach Phil Davies said, “The facilities here are world class, which is conducive to rugby development which is vital.
“It allows a level of consistency in our training and preparation and gives young, academy players the opportunity to aspire to be the best they can be.
“The Wales Under 20 squad are only one step away from full international honours and so it is vital they prepare in an environment which allows them to develop to their full potential.”
Wales Sevens head coach Paul John, also a skills coach for the National Academy, added, “Only last year, we had to prepare for our IRB World Sevens Series tournaments and the Rugby World Cup Sevens on various pitches around Wales, sometimes having to change training venues at the last minute due to the weather and pitch quality. Being able to train on our doorstep come rain or shine is already making a massive difference to our training and preparation.
“I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to former Wales Sevens coach Colin Hillman who recently passed away after a battle with cancer. Colin was such a guiding influence on Sevens rugby in Wales, and had a huge impact on us as a playing and coaching group last season, and our successful Rugby World Cup Sevens campaign. He would be very pleased to see the developments in Wales Sevens, including the decision to contract core players, and the facilities we are now able to enjoy.”
Wales Women captain Mel Berry is also full of praise for the new set-up: “We will not be better equipped for an autumn international, a Six Nations tournament or a World Cup with the facilities that we now have available for our use.