Wales head coach Gareth Williams has named his 12-man squad to participate in the opening rounds of the World Rugby Sevens World Series in Dubai and Cape Town.
It is always an exciting challenge competing in Dubai, but the extra edge of starting the World Series adds to the anticipation
Wales will enter the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on 4-5 December with a new captain and vice-captain along with three debutants.
Luke Treharne is named captain with Sam Cross his deputy while Jordan Williams, Luke Crocker and Ethan Davies will make their Sevens bow in Dubai where Wales will face England, Australia and Kenya in Pool D.
Sam Cross is a UR7s Academy coach during the off-season and one of the favorites with the younger players in the UK
Williams said Treharne and Cross had been superb through a demanding summer and reached phenomenal physical standards that supported their technical and tactical capabilities.
"It is an exciting partnership and they will make use of experienced support in Nicky Griffiths, and former captain Adam Thomas, who is not considered for the Dubai leg due to personal circumstances," explained Williams.
"It is exciting to have Jordan [Williams] involved from the Scarlets and he has all the attributes to excel on the World Series. Luke [Crocker] and Ethan [Davies] have graduated through the intense summer programme and have trained well alongside the Core Group once given that opportunity. Ethan's form in the Principality Premiership for Cross Keys has been fantastic and deserves a return to international competition following his time previously with the Under 20s," he added.
"It is pleasing to welcome a number of players back into the fold with Ben Roach and Chris Knight having joined the Core Group in October. It is exciting to see Ben add to his single appearance in Hong Kong last season, with his season cut short through injury. Chris's threat and World Series experience will add immensely to the group as a whole.
"Regional support has developed further and added a good level of competition to the training camp as well as exposing certain individuals to the environment in order to perform later in the season. Lloyd Evans and Kristian Phillips are selected from the Ospreys, Angus O'Brien from the Dragons, and Owen Jenkins returns to World Series competition from the Blues.
"It is always an exciting challenge competing in Dubai, but the extra edge of starting the World Series adds to the anticipation. We are excited by the challenge of the group but are keen, in these early stages of the squad forming, to focus on ourselves. It is an amazing schedule for the season with some new competitions, and we are looking to grow our game throughout. A positive start in Dubai is our short term aim."
Wales 7s squad for Dubai/South Africa
- Luke Treharne (Wales 7s) Captain
- Sam Cross (Wales 7s) Vice Captain
- Ben Roach (Wales 7s)
- Lloyd Evans (Ospreys)
- Owen Jenkins (Blues)
- Luke Crocker (Ebbw Vale)
- Nicky Griffiths (Wales 7s)
- Angus O'Brien (Dragons)
- Ethan Davies (Cross Keys)
- Kristian Phillips (Ospreys)
- Jordan Williams (Scarlets)
- Chris Knight (Wales 7s)