Wales’ World Cup stars will sing for their supper out in Japan, as they look to culturally embrace their host country.
Warren Gatland’s squad arrived in Tokyo on Thursday and will soon travel down to Kitakyushu where they will train ahead of their opening game against Georgia in Toyota on September 23.
The town has already shown their support for the Welsh team by printing the dragon flag on their fire engines.
Wales’ World Cup stars will embrace the local culture during stay in host nation Japan
Fly-half Rhys Patchell and full-back Leigh Halfpenny are the two choirmasters in the squad and back home Wales enlisted the help of operatic legend Bryn Terfel to make sure the squad are pitch perfect at the World Cup.
‘We just have to make sure we are prepared culturally,’ said Gatland. ‘We have done a bit of choir practice if we are called upon to sing.
‘We’ve been good in the past about going to the country and being prepared for the differences.
‘We have taken a chef there as well. That is a massive thing for the players because if the food is not right you hear about it pretty quickly. It is probably one of the most important elements to get right.
‘If the food is right and the hotel is right it is a pretty good starting point.
Rhys Patchell and full-back Leigh Halfpenny are the two choirmasters in Wales’ squad
‘There is a booklet we’ve given to the players on what to do out here in terms of even if there is no traffic you don’t cross the road until the sign says go, and eating food in the street.
‘There is a lot on greetings and making sure how the players behave in public and covering up tattoos.’
Despite losing three of four warm-up matches Wales go into the tournament as a fancied side and Gatland feels the experiences of World Cups gone by will help his side.
In 2015 his squad was ravaged by injury problems, highlighting a lack of depth in the squad. ‘Staying injury free is a good start,’ Gatland added.
Gatland feels the experiences of World Cups gone by will help his Welsh side this year
‘It’s important to build as you go and be open minded about looking at the teams you are playing against and what philosophies we have to play against them.
‘Hopefully we have learned from those situations. (In 2015) We had Australia down to 13 men and we didn’t score.
‘We have been much more clinical and in the Six Nations it was very much a target for us and converting in opposition 22s. That stat has gone up for significantly.
‘In the past it was one of our downfalls. There has not been a lot of kicking in the first couple of games and that is one area we need to start addressing and something we will be concentrating on.’