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)
On the day the Wales U20 squad for the Six Nations is revealed, WRU Head of Rugby Performance Geraint John discusses the priorities of the Wales U20 programme, and moves being undertaken to make it easier for Welsh Exiles to be part of the WRU pathway - and to help keep Welsh qualified players in Wales
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