Wales Sevens boss Paul John has paid tribute to the late Colin Hillman as he prepares to coach the Colin Hillman VII at the Cwmtawe Sevens this weekend.
Hillman, a truly great servant of sevens rugby, died earlier this month at the age of 46 and the Cwmtawe Sevens committee has accepted a late request for a team entered as the Colin Hillman Welsh Samurai Select.
Two Rugby World Cup Sevens champions are included in the side that will take the field at Parc Ynysderw on Saturday - new Ospreys signing, scrum-half Tom Isaacs, and Newport forward Craig Hill.
Also included are Rhys Shellard, Chris Davies, Tom Riley, Aaron Bramwell and Gavin Dacey, who all have experience on the IRB Sevens World Series. Colin Hillman's son Matthew will play in the side, as will Lloyd Williams, Wales Under 20 scrum-half at the recent IRB Junior World Championship in Japan, and Hartpury's Alex Cuthbert.
John paid tribute to Hillman's guidance to the Wales Sevens coaches and players as technical advisor to the side last season:
"Colin was a massive help to us all last season and I honestly don't think we would have achieved as much as we did without his input," said the Pontypridd head coach.
"We were a new, young, coaching set-up and Colin's help and advice helped all of us coaches, and the players too.
"He would take an active part in training sessions when his health and fitness allowed, and he would analyse our games on our return from tournaments, giving us advice and extra direction.
"He hoped to come to a couple of tournaments but sadly that wasn't possible due to his health, but I know how much it meant to him to have been involved in our World Cup success."
Any prize money raised by the team entering the tournament will be donated to Colin's chosen charity, Y Bwthyn Newydd, Bridgend Hospital. The British Army defend their title at Wales' top sevens event on Saturday and tournament organiser Julian Bracey is expecting a bumper crowd at Pontardawe's Parc Ynysderw. "Sevens and Colin Hillman were synonymous, to be honest," said Bracey. "There will be plenty of people turning up to cherish Colin's memory. I'm sure it will prove an emotional time for every fan of sevens rugby in Wales."
The 24 competing teams have been divided into eight pools of three.
Pool winners will go forward and qualify for the quarter-finals of a competition which carries a prize of £5,000.
Draw - Pool A: British Army, Swansea, Beach Rugby Wales.
Pool B: Neath, Global Ticka Rugby, Giants.
Pool C: Colin Hillman VII, Young Ospreys, Covenant Brothers.
Pool D: White Hart Marauders, Old Breconians, Glantaf Goats.
Pool E: Tonmawr, Stade Frenchay, Haka 7.
Pool F: Mel's Exiles, Cwmtawe 7, CSG OBs.
Pool G: Llanelli, Carmarthen Warriors, Ponty Butchers.
Pool H: Samurai 7, Rucku Spartans, West Country Cavaliers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
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.