James Out, But Forster's Men Raring To Go At Games
1 August 2002 13:42pm
Dafydd James is out of the Welsh sevens squad at the Commonwealth Games. The
British Lion has suffered a recurrence of the elbow injury that dogged him
Swansea's Under 21 international Gareth Swales has come into the 12-man squad which kicks-off its second Commonwealth campaign against Sri Lanka at the City of Manchester Stadium on Thursday night.
"It was abig blow losing Dafydd because he gave us so many options. But Gareth
has played on the IRB World Series circuit with us and is an experienced sevens player," said Welsh team manager David Rees.
"We've had two good practice sessions with England and New Zealand and we are targetting a place in the semi-finals. To have the best possible chance of doing that we must win all three of our pool matches."
Jason Forster's men start with what should be an easy task against Sri
Lanka at 7.20pm tomorrow nigh. They then go on to face a Tongan side that includes Neath centre Dave Tiueti at 10.10pm.
Their third pool game is against South Africa on Friday at 3.20pm, with the
quarter-finals taking place later in the day. The semi-finals and finals
take place on Sunday.
"The South Africans have lost a couple of players because of Tri Nations duty
but they will still be very strong. They were among the top sides in the
recent IRB World Series and it will take a huge effort to beat them," said
"But all the players realise that the best route to the medals is by winning
the pool. That could put us on course for a clash with Scotland, rather than
a match up with the reigning champions New Zealand for the second placed
The Commonwealth Games will provide Wales' most capped scrum half, Rob Howley, with his swan song in the Welsh jersey.
Wales Sevens Squad: Jason Forster (Newport, captain), Gareth Gravell (Newport), Gareth Thomas (Bridgend), Gareth Williams (Llanelli), Rob Howley (London Wasps), Gareth Baber (Pontypridd), Arwel Thomas (Swansea), Gareth Swales (Swansea), Emyr Lewis (Pontypridd), Craig Richards (Bridgend), Matthew Robinson (Swansea), Gareth Wyatt (Pontypridd).
Wales Sevens are looking to re-group after a disappointing tournament last time out in South Africa. The next double leg in New Zealand and Las Vegas offers Gareth Williams a chance to redeem themselves.
Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was at Llandovery to see the conclusion of an entertaining Women's Regional championship where any one of three teams were in contention for title glory on the last day of action.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.