Wales' Charlie Murray (far right) has made the GB Students Sevens side.
Wales have four players included in the men's GB Students Sevens side for the World University Championships in Brive next month (July 11-13), while Charlie Murray has made the women's squad.
Chris Banfield (Carmarthen Quins and Cardiff Metropolitan), Luke Treharne (Exeter University), Sam Cross and Owen Jenkins (both Cardiff Metropolitan University) have all made the 12-man side, having been nominated by the WRU following their involvement with Wales Students earlier in the year. Banfield, Treharne and Jenkins all came through the WRU system, playing for Wales at international age grade level, along with Wales Students, while Sam Cross was identified through his University rugby and Wales Students. In total, five Cardiff Metropolitan University students are included in the squad.
Charlie Murray (Swansea Metropolitan University) is a full Wales Women's international who was recently part of the Wales Women's Sevens squad that qualified for the WRWC Sevens qualifiers in Moscow this month.
It is the first time the three home Unions (WRU, RFU and SRU) have collaborated in the selection and management of the GB Students teams, with University rugby now recognised as a key breeding ground for talent, especially for potential future international Sevens players
The collaboration includes the coaching and management teams of the side, with Wales' Richard Hodges appointed assistant coach to the RFU's Russell Earnshaw as coach, while the WRU's Adrian Evans and Sophie Bennett have been appointed as team managers for the men's and women's GB Students Sevens sides respectively.
Adrian Evans said, "University and Colleges rugby is very important to us as a Union, they have become a hot breeding ground for talent, and Sevens is a great way to tap into that pool and develop skills. Alex Cuthbert is a key case in point, having followed an accelerated pathway to international success having initially been picked up at Hartpury College and then developed primarily as a Sevens player. With Sevens included in the 2016 Olympic Games, this level of collaboration and emphasis on Sevens is only going to increase.
"All five of our players are fully deserving of their place in the squad and it's great to see Luke Treharne who was tracked by the Welsh Exiles following his time with Welsh Schools Under 16s, and brought into the Wales Students set-up, underlying the importance of the Welsh Exiles network.
"The GB Sevens side is currently competing in the Super Sevens Series, the last of which took place in Caerphilly last weekend, and culminates with a tournament in Caldy on June 23. All players will no doubt gain a great deal of benefit from training and competing at the World University Championships, both from a playing perspective and from the experience that competitive environment will bring."
Bennett added: "We are thrilled to have representation from all three Unions in the Women's side, and are looking forward to playing against some of the best sides in the world in Brive. From a Welsh perspective, Charlie has done very well to make the squad with a strong contingent from the current England Women's Sevens set-up, their senior side having won this year's Hong Kong Sevens. Jade Phillips (Swansea University), another member of our Wales Women Sevens squad is on the standby list for the tournament."
Great Britain Students
Joseph Atkinson (Loughborough) Christopher Banfield (Cardiff Metropolitan)
Daniel Bibby (Cardiff Metropolitan) Samuel Cross (Cardiff Metropolitan)
Sam Edgerley (University College, London)
Jake Henry (Cardiff Metropolitan) Owen Jenkins (Cardiff Metropolitan)
Dante Mama (Loughborough)
Thomas Mitchell (Oxford)
David Smith (Newcastle)
Sam Shires (Newcastle) Luke Treharne (Exeter)
Great Britain Students
Kate Hancock (University of Plymouth)
Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bath University)
Sarah McKenna (University of Bedfordshire)
Charlotte Keane (University of the West of England - Hartpury College)
Kate Mason (University of Bath)
Emily Scott (Brunel University)
Emily Scarratt (Leeds Metropolitan University)
Victoria Fleetwood (Leeds Metropolitan University)
Stephanie Johnstone (Glasgow University)
Sally Ann Tuson (Cardiff University)
Sarah Dixon (University of Stirling) Charlotte Murray (Swansea Metropolitan University)
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.