Wales Sevens make strong start to new season in Spain

Wales Sevens make strong start to new season in Spain

Wales' men's and women's sevens teams got their first pre-season run-out under their belts at the Elche 7s tournament in Spain over the weekend.

Gareth Williams's men went shone in the Alicante competition, beating the likes of France (26-5) and Russia (33-0) on their way to the final, where they overcame Ireland (14-10) for the second time in as many days.

"The trip to Elche proved a fantastic start to our match scenarios," said Williams. "It was a bonus to come away with winning the final, but we achieved our main objective of focusing on some very basic key themes.

"The exercise has given us a fantastic foundation to go away and develop on our systems and policies."

Nick Wakley's women were unfortunate not to make it all the way to the final themselves, missing out on points difference after some good results against Belgium (19-12) and Ireland (19-19).

"We were really focussed on performances rather than final standings, but it was a great for the players competing against World Series teams," Wakley said, whose team also faced England and hosts Spain. "We won three, drew one and lost one, just missing out on the final due to points difference."

He highlighted the "stand-out performances" of two of Wales' Women's Rugby World Cup stars, Shona Powell-Hughes and Hannah Jones, as well as praising the efforts of two up-and-coming youngsters.

"Kayleigh Powell and Beth Lewis were given some valuable sevens experience, and they've deserved their inclusion after a fantastic summer of sevens with Wales U18," he said. "We have a really busy schedule coming up but we're confident our elite group of players can keep performing and surprise many more teams along the way."