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.
The last five years have been an emotional rollercoaster on and off the pitch for RGC1404. Promotion to the Principality Premiership was the culmination of five years of hard work and investment in North Wales. WRU TV caught up with prop Joe Simpson, who was one of the first intake of WRU North Wales Academy players in 2010.
Ebbw Vale captain Damien Hudd picked up the biggest accolade of the night at the 11th Principality Premiership Awards Evening held at Principality Stadium, after leading his side to the title for the first time.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Wales U20 captain Tom Phillips and performance psychologist Dr Rich Neil explain why spending three days at Monmouth RFC has further strengthened the togetherness of the squad ahead of the #WorldRugbyU20s