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)
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.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series