The Welsh side for the penultimate rounds of the IRB Sevens series has been boosted by six World Cup winners (above).
Six Rugby World Cup Sevens winners will boost Wales' squad for the final two IRB Sevens World Series tournaments of the season in London (May 23, 24) and Edinburgh (May 30, 31).
Captain Lee Beach, James Merriman, Craig Hill, Aled Thomas, Tal Selley and Tom Isaacs left for London with the rest of the Wales Sevens squad and management today, to prepare for this weekend's two day event at Twickenham, while Scarlets back Lee Williams replaces Hill as the sixth World Cup medal holder at the Edinburgh tournament a week later.
Two new caps will make their international Sevens debut over the next 10 days - Cornish Pirates pivot Rhys Jones, son of Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Kingsley, and Pontypool scrum half Tom Edwards.
Will Harries, Ifan Evans, Rhys Shellard and Jevon Groves have all gained match time on the IRB Sevens circuit this season and will continue their development at the UK tournaments.
Wales Sevens head coach Paul John said, "It has been difficult to get back into Sevens training at the end of a long season for the players and coaches. However, we have trained hard over the last couple of weeks and we will do everything we can to be competitive at these two tournaments.
"We have a tough Pool at both events, starting with hot tournament favourites South Africa, Australia and Germany at Twickenham on the weekend. South Africa are series leaders and hot favourites for the title, while we haven't beaten either South Africa or Australia all season and Germany are an unknown to us.
"We will have to be at our best to get out of that Pool and gain some important tournament points to end the season on a high. We know we are capable of beating anyone on our day, as we did at the World Cup and our defence will have to be as water-tight as in Dubai if we are going to make it to the last eight.
"It is great that some of our young players can benefit from playing with our more seasoned internationals on these two tournaments, I'm sure they will gain a great deal out of the experience."
Wales Sevens squad for London and Edinburgh Sevens: Lee Beach (capt, Neath), James Merriman (unattached), Rhys Shellard (Cardiff), Jevon Groves (Cross Keys), Craig Hill (Newport, LONDON ONLY), Tom Edwards (Pontypool, LONDON ONLY), Aled Thomas (London Welsh), Tom Isaacs (Newport), Rhys Jones (Cornish Pirates), Tal Selley (Dragons), Will Harries (Northampton Saints), Ifan Evans (Llandovery), Jimmy Norris (Bedwas / Dragons, EDINBURGH ONLY), Lee Williams (Scarlets, EDINBURGH ONLY)
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'.