RWC 2015: Wales face Ireland and Italy in warm-up matches

Ireland beat Wales in the 2014 Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland beat Wales in the 2014 Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium

Wales and Ireland have confirmed the dates on which they will face each other ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

As well as hosting Ireland on Saturday, 8 August and going to Dublin on Saturday, 29 August, Italy face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, 5 September.

At the World Cup, Wales will face hosts England, Australia and Fiji in Pool A after an opening game against Uruguay on 20 September in Cardiff.

Ireland's Pool D opponents will be France, Italy, Canada and Romania.

Wales will prepare for the 2015 tournament with training camps in Switzerland, Qatar, Poland and Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay.

After Warren Gatland announces an extended training squad for the World Cup in early June, the players will spend a fortnight at Fiesch in Switzerland in early July.

There they will live at high altitude, 2,250 metres above sea level, but train at low altitude.

Later that month they will travel to Qatar for nine days in Doha, training in extreme heat that can exceed 40 degrees.

The players will sleep in hypoxic chambers that can replicate up to 4500 metres above sea level, before travelling back to Cardiff to play their first warm-up match against the Irish.

Gatland will then travel to North Wales for a training camp, before heading to Poland for eight days at Spala, where they did most of their preparation for the 2011 tournament in New Zealand, where they finished fourth.

Wales' 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup will then be announced two days after the game in Dublin against Ireland.

During the pool stage Wales will continue to be based at The Vale Resort on the outskirts of Cardiff, as well as at London Irish RFC for their games at Twickenham.

In a statement, Gatland said: "We are delighted at our schedule for next year.

"We have home and away ties against Ireland as an extended squad and will face Italy with our final World Cup party.

"The training camps have been designed to push the limits of the squad and ensure we peak at the tournament.

"We were very pleased with the results of the 2011 preparation and this schedule not only uses what we learnt back then but builds upon it."

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