Wales begin their 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens campaign in Dubai where they face Zimbabwe in the opening match of the tournament this afternoon.
The objective for Wales is to reach the quarter finals of the Cup but the men in Red know that the route to the last eight has become ever harder as many of the hitherto minnows of the game have grown into killer sharks.
The factor making qualification so difficult is that Rugby World Cup Sevens is a 24-team tournament. The winners of each of the six pools will automatically qualify while the two remaining places go to the 'best' two runners-up. 'Best' in this context means pool points and points differences.
That means Wales scoring as many tries as possible in their pool games while at the same time preventing their opponents from amassing points.
Wales go into their game against Zimbabwe, confident they can achieve a win against the East Africans. "We played them twice in the two opening tournaments of the World Series this season, so we know them well. They've got pace and they've got big engines" said Wales Sevens coach, Paul John.
Wales, who played a warm-up game against Scotland last Sunday, have been encouraged by their performance in the World Series tournament in Wellington last month when they achieved a shock win over host nation New Zealand. .
"That was an important win for us" said Wales manager, Dai Jenkins, adding : "We now have the respect of other teams".
If Wales come through successfully against Zimbabwe they then face Uruguay, who come to the tournament confident after defeating Kenya in San Diego last month.
Last up for Wales will be Argentina who were the Cup winners in San Diego. "Argentina play a different style of sevens from other countries. They have a couple of world class players" said Jenkins.
Overall, the World Cup, which for the first time has a women's competition, is expected to be much more closely contested than in the previous four tournaments. Defending champions Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Argentina and Samoa are all being tipped for the top honours.
The World Cup in Dubai will be played in front of representatives from the International Olympic Committee, currently assessing rugby's abbreviated version as a possible entrant for the 2016 Games.
Wales RWC 7s Squad : James Merriman (capt, Neath), David Flanagan (Blues), James Lewis (Dragons), Tal Selley (Dragons), Jimmy Norris (Dragons), Jason Tovey (Dragons), Rhodri McAtee (Cornish Pirates), Dave Evans (Neath), Tom Isaacs (Newport), Damien Welch (Cardiff), Chris Davies (Aberavon), Craig Hill (Newport)
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
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.