World Champions Wales suffered a drop in prestige after failing to qualify for the quarter finals of the Cup in the Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham.
In the penultimate tournament of the 2008/09 IRB World Sevens Series, Wales began the opening day by facing the World Series leaders, South Africa. In the event the Springboks showed why they are favourites to lift the 2008/09 title with a 29-5 win with two tries and a conversion from Mzwandile Stick and one apiece from Renfred Dazel and Gio Aplen, Wales coming from a first half try from Craig Hill.
It required Wales to beat Australia in their second pool match if the Welsh seven were to progress to the quarter finals of the Cup. But it was not to be despite a great start from Wales that put them into a 14-0 lead with tries from Ifan Evans and Craig Hill both converted by Aled Thomas.
But it was then that Australia found their rhythm scoring tries by Patrick McCutcheon, James Stannard and Shaun Foley (2) to take a 24-14 lead. Wales, having been starved of possession in the second half, were able to recover with a try by Tal Selley converted by Thomas but any hopes of a last gasp win were crushed when Aussie winger Francis Fainfot raced in for the decisive try, converted by Stannard for a 31-21 win.
With the Cup quarter finals gone all that remained for Wales was a show of pride in their final pool match against rookies, Germany. A big score was expected and a big score was delivered from a brace of tries by Ifan Evans and one apiece from Craig Hill, Will Harries, James Merriman and Tom Isaacs, five of these scores converted by Rhys Jones.
The result means that Wales finish third in Pool A and will play Georgia in the quarter finals of the Bowl.
Wales squad: Tom Edwards, Rhys Jones, Tal Sellley, Ifan Evans, Craig Hill, Rhys Shellard,, Jevon Groves, Will Harries, Tom Isaacs, James Merriman, Aled Thomas, Lee Beach.
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'.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.