Wales are to send a strong squad to Australia and New Zealand for Rounds 4 and 5 of the IRB World Sevens Series in February.
Manager John Ryan bloods four new players, Llanelli's Gareth Bowen, Darren Berry from UWIC, James Strong of London Welsh, and Gareth Gravell of Newport.
Wales are currently ranked in seventh place after two rounds. The hugely popular tournament runs 11 rounds and reaches its zenith this year in the Millenium Stadium at the end of May.
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND SQUAD
1. JON THOMAS SWANSEA D/D, C/A
2. ROBIN SOWDEN-TAYLOR CARDIFF D/D ,C/A
3. GAVIN VAUGHAN-EVANS E.VALE D/D
4. DARREN BERRY UWIC
5. GARETH BOWEN LLANELLI
6. SHAUN JAMES PONTYPRIDD C/A
7. GARETH CHAPMAN UWIC. D/D, C/A
8. EMYR LEWIS NEWPORT D/D
9. PHIL EDWARDS UWIC D/D, C/A
10. CRAIG RICHARDS WHITLAND D/D,C/A
11. JAMES STRONG LONDON WELSH
12. GARETH GRAVELL NEWPORT
MANAGER JOHN RYAN D/D, C/A
COACH COLIN HILLMAN D/D, C/A
PHYSIO IONA MORGAN D/D
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
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'.