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).
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.