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).
Head coach Rowland Phillips and key front rower Carys Phillips look ahead to games against Spain and Ireland as Wales Women ramp up their preparations for the forthcoming Six Nations. The two warm-up games are a 'massive opportunity to refine the squad' according to the Welsh camp.
Martyn Phillips has discussed details of the newly published 'Strategy for Welsh Rugby' which puts in black and white terms the plans and direction of the governing body of the national sport in Wales for the next decade.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips has urged Welsh rugby fans to follow in the footsteps of their soccer counterparts at last summer's Euro Championship by backing their team to the hilt in the upcoming RBS 6 Nations campaign.
Chief executive Martyn Phillips has highlighted the plans for Wales to become a breeding ground for national and elite club rugby coaches, which are contained in the WRU's 10-year 'Strategy for Welsh Rugby'.
Andrew Coombs is enjoying his new role as Nelson forwards coach. The former Dragons and Wales lock has big ambitions to become a professional coach but feels it's important to learn the ropes in grassroots rugby and where better than his home club Nelson, with friends and family close to hand.
Students at Brynllywarch Hall School, near Newtown, have transformed their own lives, and are now having a positive impact on others through rugby. The sport has had a life-changing effect on the well-being of the students who are now delivering rugby sessions to local primary schools and playing for a new mixed ability side
Wales reached their first semi-final since 2013 in the opening round of this season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie recaps on what proved to be an eventful tournament
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.