WALES head coach Richie Pugh has named his squad for this weekend’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens series being staged in Toulouse.
Wales international centre Tylor Morgan is set for his sevens debut while Dragons’ winger Owen Jenkins returns after missing the last two rounds in Vancouver and Singapore. RGC’s Afon Bagshaw makes a return to the circuit for the first time since 2019.
Wales face the daunting prospect of taking on France in their opening pool game on Friday afternoon before waiting eight hours for their second game against Fiji under lights at Stade Ernest-Wallon. Pugh’s side will complete their Pool B fixtures against Kenya on Saturday afternoon before the knock-out stages begin.
“We’ve been boosted with the inclusion of Afon Bagshaw from RGC who’s an experienced campaigner on the sevens circuit. He has been firing on all cylinders in the two weeks he’s been in, and he’s earned his selection and another boost is Tyler Morgan, coming in from Scarlets,” said Pugh.
“Tyler’s itching to play – when I invited him into the camp he jumped at the opportunity and it’s just great having someone of his calibre and his experience and what he’s achieved so far in his career – it’s great to have that experience around the squad.
“I think he may admit that it was a bit of a shock to the system coming in but like I say, two and a bit weeks now he’s been in with us and he’s been good and I think he’s just looking forward to getting to Toulouse now.
“It feels like we’re repeating ourselves, but every group is tough in every tournament on the world series.
“What’s exciting is that we face France in France for the first game, and we know what the passionate French crowd will be like down in Toulouse so we’re looking forward to that. And then we play Fiji, crazily at 10:30 at night in what will be a great challenge against a team we haven’t played this year.
“They’re firing in terms of getting to finals and they’ve picked up where they pretty much left off pre-covid so we’re looking forward to the challenge of facing them and then we face Kenya on day two. They are opposition we know we’re capable of competing against so there are three big games and three good challenges, but our boys have prepped well and are ready to go.”
The long pause between games on day one poses a new scenario to overcome but Pugh is confident his squad won’t be overawed.
“It is going to be difficult but the boys who have played in France before understand that they do like their late kick-offs, they do like a late crowd, but the atmosphere will be busy. It’ll be loud and we’ve just got to make sure that we plan the week right with later training sessions and activating the bodies at 10 o’clock at night, making sure that we’re not dozing off but what is favourable for us is that we haven’t got much of a time difference to deal with, just a short trip across to France.”
Wales 7s squad for Toulouse – May 20-22
Luke Treharne (Wales 7s)
Tyler Morgan (Scarlets)
Morgan Sieniawski (Wales 7s)
Afon Bagshaw (RGC)
Tom Brown (Wales 7s)
Callum Williams (Scarlets)
Owen Jenkins (Dragons)
Tom Williams (Wales 7s)
Morgan Williams (Wales 7s)
Iwan Pyrs Jones (Cardiff)
Lloyd Lewis (Wales 7s)
Ewan Rosser (Dragons)
Cole Swannack (Pontypridd)
Toulouse Sevens – Pool B
Friday May 20
France v Wales KO 1412 (UK time)
Fiji v Wales KO 2133 (UK time)
Saturday May 21
Kenya v Wales KO 1312 (UK time)
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