Scottish league players opt for hot shock treatment ahead of Cairns World Cup match

Scottish league players opt for hot shock treatment ahead of Cairns World Cup match

Scottish league players opt for hot shock treatment ahead of Cairns World Cup match

Updated 25 October 2017, 13:05 AEDT

As if far north Queensland is not hot enough, Scottish rugby league players in Cairns prepare for the Rugby League World Cup locked in a chamber heated to 50C.

As if far north Queensland is not hot enough, Scottish rugby league players this week have been locked inside a chamber heated to 50 degrees Celsius, immersed in 100 per cent humidity.

The hot shock therapy comes ahead of their Rugby League World Cup match against Tonga in Cairns this Sunday.

Team officials hoped a heat chamber would get them acclimatised to tropical heat more quickly, so they enlisted the help of experts from James Cook University.

Sport and exercise lecturer Dr Glen Deakin has been putting the team through its paces inside the chamber.

"The evidence is there to say if you do heat acclimatisation well, athletes will benefit in terms of performance because there are increases in blood volume and blood cell count," he said.

"The bottom line is the athletes' performance is heightened and more importantly, they will tolerate the heat."

Players have spent 15 minutes at a time in the chamber, mostly on exercise bikes.

Afterward they take to university sporting fields for further training.

"It is tough. I'm not going to say the 15 minutes is cruisy," Dr Deakin said.

"It's not meant to be, but the idea is when they go through the chamber they come back out and they step out and they go 'wow, it's not that hot outside after all'."

The sentiment was echoed by Scotland fullback Matty Russell.

"It felt cold when we got out [of the chamber]," he said.

"It's real tough and it's not something we're used to."

Scotland coach Steve McCormack said the players are more used to training in temperatures of 5C or 6C, so days of 35C were tough.

"We've got the humidity and everything else associated with it," he said.

"But we're preparing for the World Cup, so we have tried to leave no stone unturned.

"We knew that it was going to be humid so anything psychologically that the players can get used to, it's worth it."

Scotland takes on Tonga in Cairns on Sunday at 4:00pm.