Wales set the bar high

Mon, 31 Dec 2012 07:40
Large wales 7s celebrate Large wales 7s v sa Large wales 7s v nz 630

Coach Paul John is hoping the building blocks his side have put in place for the IRB Sevens World Series will reinforce Wales' hopes.

Head coach Paul John is hoping the building blocks his side have put in place for the IRB Sevens World Series after three completed rounds will reinforce Wales' hopes for the next two rounds when the circuit reconvenes for the New Zealand leg in February.

Wales secured two top-five finishes in the most recent rounds held in Dubai and Port Elizabeth in South Africa, but as the Sevens jamboree heads towards Wellington and Las Vegas for the opening rounds in 2013, John insists his side will not be resting on their laurels and is demanding his squad continues to build on the solid foundations they have already built.

En route to picking up the Plate final silverware in both Dubai and Port Elizabeth, Wales defeated the mighty Fijians twice and gave series leaders New Zealand a major scare before falling just short in the Airline Dubai Sevens.

New Zealand go into the New Year as leaders in the overall IRB World Series standings with 60 points while Wales are in eighth position with 31 points.

However, due to the nature of the season which has seen a number of upsets in the three rounds to date, Argentina, Kenya, Samoa, South Africa, Fiji and France are all easily within touching distance of John's side.

In past seasons Wales have been guilty of letting promising positions against the big boys pass them by but John is hoping his side have turned a corner in that respect.

"It's all about consistency," he said. "It's been a problem in the past - when we lost a quarter-final we struggled in the two games afterwards but we had a really positive response from everyone - senior players Rhys Shellard, Lee Williams, Richie Pugh, Adam Thomas and Rhys Jones were all excellent. All those boys who have got experience led from the front and kept the group together - it was an example of what we can do - to beat Fiji twice in consecutive week's shows consistency.

"We've got a tough group coming up in New Zealand (Samoa, Canada and South Africa) and that's the thing – training has got to be hard to prepare the boys for what's coming up in Wellington. The attitude of the boys was outstanding in Dubai and South Africa. They worked hard as a group, communication on the field and training was much better and they got the results on the field they deserved.

"We were pleased to pick up two top five finishes on the trot as it was a big step up from the first tournament in the Gold Coast where we didn't make the main knockout stages and lost to Spain in the Bowl semi-final," added John.

"We've hit a good level over the last two tournaments – our aim has got to be to try and maintain that level as it always is. Consistency has proven to be very difficult in what is a hugely competitive environment.

"To play in front of 40,000 crowds against international opposition can only be good for the players' development – it is really testing and accelerating their development. Our aim is to keep going at the level we are at the moment and keep getting as many points as we can and build towards the World Cup in Russia in June."

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens