New head coach Darren Edwards has named his first Wales squad for the World Rugby Sevens Series, starting this weekend in Dubai – and has selected Joe Goodchild and Rio Dyer from Dragons.
There are debuts for Cardiff Blues fly-half Rhys Davies and Pontypridd back rower Morgan Sieniawski as well as returns for three of regional rugby’s most promising young backs in Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), Dyer and Goodchild (both Dragons).
Edwards will oversee one of the youngest squads on the World Series, with an average age of 22. Nine members of the squad have been through the Wales U18, U19 or U20 programmes in the past two seasons.
A number of the sevens squad for last season’s Dubai tournament are now regional rugby regulars, including 20-year-old Dragons flanker Taine Basham, who was selected in Wayne Pivac’s 35-man Wales squad last month.
At the Sevens Stadium on Thursday (UK time), Wales have been drawn in a pool with New Zealand (13:28), followed on Friday by Samoa (07:14) and Canada (13:06).
Following the conclusion of this weekend’s tournament in Dubai, the squad will travel to Cape Town for round two of the World Series.
Wales Sevens squad (Dubai/Cape Town) – Core Players: Cai Devine, George Gasson, Jay Jones, Cameron Lewis, Ben Roach, Dafydd Smith, Luke Treharne (c) Cardiff Blues: Rhys Davies Dragons: Rio Dyer, Joe Goodchild Ospreys: Ben Cambriani Scarlets: Tomi Lewis