The Wales Sevens squad which will play in the Wellington and Las Vegas legs of the IRB Sevens series.
The Wales squad for the Wellington and Las Vegas Sevens sees five changes from the side that won the Bowl at the Dubai and George events before Christmas.
Uncapped pair Alex Walker (Dragons) and core Sevens squad member Darren Daniel (Scarlets) come into the squad, along with Cardiff's Rhys Shellard, Pontypridd's Aaron Bramwell and Cornish Pirates pivot Rhys Jones, son of Sale Sharks director of rugby Kingsley, all of whom played in two tournaments last season.
The five replace Rugby World Cup Sevens winner Craig Hill, Cardiff outside half Gareth Davies, Ospreys centre Ashley Beck, injured Swansea full back Nicky Thomas and Scarlets scrum half Lee Rees who is involved with Wales Under 20.
Wales have another tough Pool in New Zealand, with the hosts first up for Paul John's side next Friday, followed by South Africa and Niue.
John said, "We got to within a score of both New Zealand and South Africa at George and Dubai respectively and we can only gain from playing the top sides on a regular basis. We haven't got quite as much consistency of selection as we would have liked but I'm sure all the players in the squad will once again gain a huge amount from these two tournaments and grow as players. Playing in front of a sell-out 40,000 crowd at the Westpac Stadium will be a massive learning experience for our upcoming players, especially the newcomers.
"After Wellington, we have England and Argentina in our Pool at Las Vegas, with both teams performing consistently well at the moment. We have trained well this week so we're hoping for some good training sessions and practice matches once we arrive in New Zealand."
Wales Sevens squad for Wellington and Las Vegas:
Chris Davies (capt, Aberavon), Alex Walker (Dragons), Chris Morgan (Aberavon), Rhys Jones (Cornish Pirates), Aaron Bramwell (Pontypridd), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Darren Daniel (Scarlets) Ifan Evans (Llandovery), Alex Cuthbert (UWIC), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Jevon Groves (Cross Keys), Rhys Shellard (Cardiff)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.