After a promising start to the HSBC Sevens World Series in Australia, Wales will fancy their chances of reaching the knockout stages of round two when pitching up for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens this coming weekend.
Scarlets flanker Richie Pugh led Wales to the Plate title in the Gold Coast Sevens after they were dumped out of the main draw after losing their quarter final to eventual champions Fiji. The Welsh dusted themselves down after that disappointment but then beat France and Samoa to claim the Plate competition to secure 13 points.
This weekend Wales have been grouped with Australia, Canada and Scotland, none of who can be classed as tournament favourites so Wales have a genuine chance of reaching the knockout stages for the second week running.
Wales head coach Paul John paid tribute to his young squad who served notice that they will be a major threat to the top tier nations as the series continues.
"We had a good afternoon on the second day of the Gold Coast Sevens," said John. "The boys may have lost 33-5 in the quarter-finals against Fiji but for the first six minutes we played really well and should have been three tries to nil up.
"We only scored one, dropped one over the line and dropped another with 20 metres to go and the defence scramling across. Fiji kept the ball in the second half and proved what a great side they are and scored four tries.
"We hardly touched the ball in the second spell which meant us going in to the Plate and playing France in the semi - this also proved to be a tough game but once again the young squad came through under the leadership of Richie Pugh, Rhys Shellard and Alex Walker."
That victory set up a Plate final against Samoa where the big hitting south sea islanders had to play second fiddle to Wales as the rampant Dragons ran out 26-15 victors.
"That was an excellent performance against a top tier seven's nation," concluded John. "This was a great achievement for a relatively young and inexperienced squad. We had six new boys and two others who had only played two tournaments so it's fair to say every member of the squad made a huge contribution to the success of the weekend."
Following their win on the Gold Coast, Fiji have a lead in the HSBC Sevens World Series. They currently lie on 22 points ahead of New Zealand (19), South Africa (17), Australia (15) and Wales (13).
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Ponty ar ben eu digon - pencampwyr dwbwl Cymru. Pwy oedd yn serennu yn y gem fawr yn erbyn Llanelli? Ponty on top of the world - double champions of Welsh rugby. Who starred in the big win over Llanelli?