Wales Sevens reached the Cup quarter-finals of the IRB World Series in London
World champions Wales will face Argentina in the Cup quarter-final on the second day of the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham after finishing second in their group at the end of a first day that was to clearly to the liking of coach Paul John.
"I was pleased with the day overall. We dug deep against Kenya but I was disappointed with the first game against New Zealand. I'm really pleased to have got through this first day and to have qualified in the top eight" said John.
Wales began the first session of play at RFU headquarters facing World Series title challengers and defending champions New Zealand. The All Blacks, eager to impress in their opening game were quickly off the mark with a try by Kurt Baker, who was followed on the score sheet by the experienced Tomasi Casa and Tim Mikkelson.
Then with half-time approaching Wales were rewarded for their enterprise with a try by Scarlets' youngster Lee Rees.
But it was to be Wales' only score in the tie as New Zealand turned on the power in the second half to score further tries by Casa, Baker (two) and speedster Sherwin Stowers to win 43-5.
It might have been a dispiriting result for most teams but the World Champions responded magnificently with a heroic performance against Kenya to inflict a 22-17 defeat on the east Africans.
Wales' dynamic start clearly shocked the confident Kenyans, who were unable to stop Ifan Evans racing in for the opening score. Then, as Wales found their form, Rhys Jones grabbed a brace of tries and one conversion.
Just before the break Kenya pulled back a score with a try by Humphrey Kayanga to trail Wales 5-17 at the break. But two minutes into the second half, Wales struck with a decisive score, a try from their World Cup medal winner Craig Hill. Kenya hit back with two late tries from Leon Adongo and Collins Injera and looked to be on course to score the winner only for Lee Rees to put in a superb try-saving tackle.
Then against Portugal, Wales staged a superb fightback after trailing 12-0 at the break with second-half tries by Ifan Evans and Craig Hill both converted by Gareth Davies, the second, from the touchline proving to be the match winner.
Wales Sevens squad : Jevon Groves (captain, Cross Keys), Rhys Shellard (Cardiff), Ifan Evans (Llandovery), Craig Hill (Newport), Lee Beach (London Welsh), Lee Rees (Scarlets Academy), Alex Walker (Dragons), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rhys Jones (Cornish Pirates), Gareth Davies (Cardiff), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Alex Cuthbert (UWIC)
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'.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.