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 Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.