Wallaby Nick Phipps emerges from a cryogenics chamber following a training session at the Lensbury Hotel in London.
Wallaby Nick Phipps emerges from a cryogenics chamber following a training session at the Lensbury Hotel in London. Dan Mullan

Wallabies turn to cold comforts to get an edge

RUGBY: A cold snap is expected to hit London this weekend but the Wallabies are well prepared.

Michael Cheika's men have done away with ice baths this week for some time in a cryogenics chamber, experiencing temperatures as low as minus 160 degrees Celsius as they look for better ways to aid recovery.

Sporting teams around the world have used the technique, with some high-profile sporting stars such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather all getting cold in the name of science.

This week the Wallabies spent two minutes in a chamber with temperatures ranging from minus 60 to minus 160 degrees.

Wallabies strength and fitness coach Brad Harrington told rugby.com.au the advantages of the chamber was that it sped up recovery time from almost 20 minutes to sometimes less than five.

"It's a lot more efficient ... and also it's a little bit more comfortable in terms of the dryness of it, rather than being in the ice bath,” he said ahead of Sunday morning's (AEST) Rugby Championship clash with Argentina at Twickenham.

"Basically, it's using the same sort of principles of bringing the blood flow into the central parts of the body and then flushing it out and trying to accelerate recovery.”

Harrington said the Wallabies were hoping to use the chamber on a more frequent basis but because of the amount of travel involved in Test rugby, each case would be looked at individually.

Halfback Nick Phipps said he would be happy to do away with ice baths but added he could spend no longer than three minutes in the chamber.

"It's not something I'd recommend doing every day for fun but a nice little advantage for us to recover well ahead of Saturday's game,” he said.

"You've got to be completely dry before you go in there.

"Obviously you don't want any wet patches freezing up on you so 30 seconds in the minus 60 just to warm you up, and then two minutes in the minus 160 just to top you off.”


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