Selection surprises for Welsh Sevens
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 15:47
We've got an exciting squad with a bit of experience
Exeter University student Luke Treharne is the surprise inclusion in the Wales Sevens squad for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
There are also returns to Sevens for trio Gareth Davies, Jevon Groves and Will Harries who have been concentrating on regional rugby careers over the past couple of seasons.
Wales Sevens' head coach Gareth Williams admits he has had to make some tough selection calls with regulars on the World Series - Will Price, Sam Cross, Jason Harries and Rhys Jones all missing out on selection.
"I have to admit some conversations haven't been easy but it goes to show how tough it is for competition for places.
"It's a compliment to those who have missed out that some tight decisions were forced upon me but to be fair, players put their hands up over the recent training block and in Moscow where we competed in the FIRA Grand Prix.
"I believe we've got an exciting squad with quite a bit of experience. We've set ourselves targets which will remain in-house,” he said.
Treharne is the only player in the squad who hasn't been capped at Sevens level but he doesn't lack experience in the shorter form of the game.
He was part of the Great Britain Students squad which won the world title in Brive two years ago and Williams has no qualms about throwing him in at the deep end.
"Luke is someone we have been monitoring for some time but with his medical studies it has been difficult to see a lot of him.
"He's played a lot of Sevens though and he has figured prominently in training.
"With his ability to play both No.9 and No.10 he offers us some versatility and with players like Gareth Davies, Lee Williams and Gareth Owen in the squad, we have players who can manipulate space for our outside backs.”
And even though Groves and Harries have been carving out regional careers since leaving Sevens, with Harries claiming three caps for Warren Gatland's Wales side since he left the World Series, Williams is confident both players can make a mark in Glasgow where his side face Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia in their pool.
"Jevon brings us a level of leadership second to none and his presence brings a new dimension to the side while Will is a real threat in the wider channels.
"I've got no concerns with them coming back into the squad after some time away from Sevens,” added Williams.
The tournament will also be a Sevens swansong for captain Adam Thomas and James Davies before they embark on regional careers with Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets respectively.
Wales Sevens Commonwealth Games squad: Adam Thomas, Craig Price, Iolo Evans, James Davies, Jevon Groves, Luke Treharne, Lee Williams, Gareth Davies, Will Harries, Gareth Owen, Luke Morgan, Alex Webber.
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