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 Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets