| 4.7°C Dublin

Frosty reception in Poland for Welsh new boy Shingler

AMID injury doubts over Dan Lydidate, Wales ave called up Scarlets utility forward Aaron Shingler to their Six Nations training camp in Poland ahead of their opening six Nations match against Ireland in Dublin.

Shingler was greeted by snow, spartan living conditions and a cryotherapy chamber set to -40°C when he arrived at the Welsh headquarters in Gdansk.

Meanwhile, full-back Leigh Halfpenny is looking forward to playing at the new Lansdowne Road for the first time, but he's expecting the atmosphere to be every bit as hostile as he experienced in the old stadium.

"Dublin has always been a hostile place to play," he said.

"They may have rebuilt the stadium, but the swirling winds and the winter temperatures of the old Lansdowne Road will still be apparent and Poland can play its part in preparing us.

"I wouldn't go a week without kicking so we will be doing some sessions out here, whatever the temperatures, and it won't be difficult to put yourself mentally on to that pitch against Ireland.

"The conditions here generally are pretty sparse. There's nothing to do except eat, sleep and train, but I don't think any of us would have it any other way.

"We want to be the best prepared we can possibly be for this tournament and make best use of the time we have available to us, and this is the way to do it."

• Ravenhill will soon have a capacity big enough to host knockout games in both the Heineken Cup and the Celtic League after planning permission was granted for a major refurbishment, which will see the stadium's capacity increased to 18,200.

• Leinster's second-row crisis has worsened after foreign flop Steven Sykes returned to Durban's Sharks after just four months with the province.

• Andrew Sheridan has turned his back on his England future after his lucrative switch from Sale to Toulon was confirmed.

• Italy have called up prop Michele Rizzo for their Six Nations campaign.

Irish Independent