Wales' road to the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Alun Wyn Jones and Warren Gatland on the Principality Stadium pitch after the 2019 Grand Slam win against Ireland
Captain Alun Wyn Jones and coach Warren Gatland celebrate Wales' 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam in the rain

Coach Warren Gatland will bid farewell to Wales after 12 years in charge following the World Cup in Japan in September and October.

The side are in outstanding form, with a run of 14 consecutive Test wins culminating in a third Six Nations Grand Slam during his time in charge.

Ranked two in the world, Wales have never been in better shape at the start of a World Cup season.

Wales kick-off their World Cup campaign against Georgia on 23 September, but before then there are squad announcements, training camps and warm-up matches to negotiate.

Here's a quick guide.

TRAINING CAMP ONE

The squad gathers in Wales between the end of May and mid-June, depending on when the players have played their final regional matches.

Every player will have a four-week break before joining the camp, while English-based players may not be able to join until August.

Initial training will take place at the WRU's centre of excellence near Llantrisant in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The squad will return to Feisch in the Swiss Alps for a two-week camp in July when they will train at an altitude of 1,000 metres and sleep at 2,500 metres.

The altitude is believed to aid recovery when players return to play and train at lower altitude.

The squad trained in the Swiss resort before the 2015 tournament, when the players described the regime as a "beasting".

George North, Dan Biggar, Scott Williams and Hallam Amos running at Wales'' pre-World Cup training camp in Switzerland in 2015
George North leads the way during training in Feisch in the summer of 2015

SUMMER TESTS (first block)

Sunday, 11 August

England v Wales (Twickenham; 14:00 BST)

Saturday, 17 August

Wales v England (Principality Stadium; 14:15 BST)

TRAINING CAMP TWO

After the games against England, Gatland will take the squad to Turkey for a week-long training camp at the Gloria Sports Arena.

Again this mirrors preparation for the 2015 tournament, when the squad went to Doha in Qatar.

It also provides hot weather training ahead of their departure for Japan.

It is expected families will be able to attend part of the camp, suggesting it will be a little more relaxed than the Swiss camp.

SUMMER TESTS (second block)

Saturday, 31 August

Wales v Ireland (Principality Stadium; 14:30 BST)

Saturday, 7 September

Ireland v Wales (Aviva Stadium; 14:00 BST)

FINAL SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT

Gatland will cut his training squad down to the final 31 who will attend the World Cup at the start of September.

The party will then travel to Japan on 11 September ahead of their opening game against Georgia.

They will be based in Kitakuyshu and train at the City of Kitakyushu Stadium.

As part of the relationship with the city, the Welsh Rugby Union are holding training sessions for thousands of local participants, the training of hundreds of coaches as well as the up-skilling local referees.

2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP - Pool D

Monday, 23 September

Wales v Georgia (Toyota Stadium, Toyota City; 11:15 BST)

Sunday, 29 September

Wales v Australia (Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo; 08:45 BST)

Wednesday, 9 October

Wales v Fiji (Oita Stadium, Oita; 10:45 BST)

Sunday, 13 October

Wales v Uruguay (Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, Kumamoto City; 09:15 BST)

Find full 2019 World Cup fixtures here.

THE TRAINING SQUAD

Forwards

Leon Brown (Dragons), Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Nicky Smith (Ospreys) , Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Ospreys), Cory Hill (Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), James Davies (Scarlets), Taulupe Faletau (Bath), Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons).

Backs

Aled Davies (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Scott Williams (Ospreys), Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Steff Evans (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues), George North (Ospreys), Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers), Liam Williams (Saracens)

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