Wales will be hoping to go at least one better than last week when the IRB
World Sevens series comes to its conclusion in Cardiff this weekend.
The Welsh squad reached the semi-final at Twickenham last weekend before
bowing out of the competition to the eventual winners New Zealand.
But with confidence high, the side is on course to exceed all expectation
and, at the same time, bring a welcome smile to the welsh game.
"This Welsh team were a resounding success at Twickenham. We beat Fiji and Argentina, who are among the top sides in the world, and competed well against New Zealand," said Team manager Dai Rees.
"We played some good rugby and picked up some valuable points on the way to
reaching our first semi-final of the cup compeititon.
"Now we face the mouthwatering prospect of taking on England, who won the Hong Kong Sevens title this season, in our final Pool match at the end of Day 1 on Friday night. That promises to be a classic contest.
"The success of last weekend, has taken us to 50 team points for the season. That compares with 18 in all of last season.
"I think those figures show how much we have come on. What's more, the feedback from the players is very positive indeed. They believe that they are
going back to the clubs in better shape and for us and Steve Hansen that is
a real positive.
"Steve has been great, too. He wants to be involved and he sees the sevens squad as an area in which to develop players for the national side. We are
delighted to be playing our part there too."
Wales will be grouped with Russia, France and England this weekend, with
their first game coming on Friday afternoon against the Russians.
After that, they play the French before finishing off their pool matches
with the small matter of a game against another of last weekend's semi
"It's certainly another tough group for us. Russia might not be a household
name on the 15-man circuit, but they are certainly no mugs at 7-a-side.
"France, well, what can you say and England are a very good team as they
proved last week when they reached the semi-finals.
"Having said that, we are confident of putting on a good show especially
infront of our own fans."
WALES SEVENS: Jasson Forster (Newport, captain), Gareth Gravelle (Newport), John Thomas (Swansea), Robin Sowden-Taylor (Cardiff), Arwel Thomas (Swansea), Rhodri Jones (Swansea),
Ben Breeze (Newport), Gareth Baber (Pontypridd), Emyr Lewis (Newport), Matthew Robinson (Swansea), Craig Richards (Whitland), Shaun James (Pontypridd).
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Welsh Rugby Union has recently teamed up with Prostate Cymru to help the charity launch its latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Members of the Wales squad helped produce a short video and promotional material for the campaign titled 'The Best Defence - is to know the FACTS'.