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Thomas returns to lead Wales

Fri, 17 Jan 2014 12:31
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In PE we really struggled with injuries
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Pontypridd's Adam Thomas returns to the fray to captain a Wales squad which has just one uncapped player selected for the fourth round of the IRB World Series in Las Vegas from January 24 to 26.

Rookie Dylan Morgan follows in the footsteps of clubmates Lee Williams, Iolo Evans, James Davies and Jason Harries, who have all represented Wales this season, to make the trip to America.

A shoulder injury ruled Thomas out of the third leg of the world series in Port Elizabeth, which saw Wales slip to ninth in the overall series standings, but interim coach Gareth Williams is confident his side can rise to the occasion at the Sam Boyd Stadium.

"We've been around the fifth or sixth mark on the overall series standings this season so it is a bit disappointing to slip to ninth but there are extenuating circumstances for our current position," Williams said.

"In the last round in Port Elizabeth we really struggled with injuries - we were down to the bare bones on the last day with only seven fit players. But the boys showed a lot of character to hang in there," Williams added.

"That character saw us defeat a very strong Canada side in the Bowl quarter-finals before we bowed out against Australia in the semi-finals but boys heads never dropped and they kept going until the final whistle.

"There are no easy games at this level and in Las Vegas we face a tough group against South Africa, Kenya and Canada but if the boys can reproduce the consistency they have shown in previous rounds prior to Port Elizabeth then we stand a good chance of progression."

Wales will be without key playmaker Lee Williams and finisher Chris Knight along with Alex Walker who have picked up knocks since the last round while Adam Field and Alex Webber are still recovering from long term injury.

Wales: Adam Thomas (Pontypridd - captain), *Dylan Morgan (Carmarthen Quins), James Davies (Carmarthen Quins), Sam Cross (Cardiff Met), Jason Harries (Carmarthen Quins), Rhys Shellard (Pontypridd), Rhodri Davies (Llandovery), Rhys Jones (Cross Keys), Will Thomas (Cardiff), Will Price (Aberavon), Ashley Evans (Bridgend), Luke Morgan (Bridgend).

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