Wales Sevens head coach Paul John has named Ospreys wing Kristian Phillips in his squad for the forthcoming legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong (March 25 - 27) and Adelaide (April 2 - 3).
The 20-year old is named in a group that shows a mix of experienced sevens players, including Richie Pugh, Jevon Groves, Rhys Jones and Lee Rees, and some newcomers, with Tonmawr centre/ full back Warren Davies, son of former Wales flanker and Wales team physio Mark set to earn his first Wales Sevens cap along with Dragons scrum half Nicky Griffiths. Griffiths travelled to New Zealand for the Wellington tournament but was forced to return home injured.
Phillips was in Wales’ Commonwealth Games squad earlier this season but was injured at the start of the first game. Also in the squad are Pontypridd’s Adam Thomas who has two IRB tournaments under his belt, while Rhodri Gomer-Davies has four.
“We recently invited 12 boys to train with us to be able to train with opposition and make training more competitive. Some of them have impressed, with Warren Davies one of them, so much so that he has earned a place in the squad. We are grateful to his club Tonmawr for allowing Warren, along with two other Tonmawr players Elliot Frewen and Steffan Andrews to train with us, widening our Pool of players, and the other Premiership sides who have done the same.
“We trained well all last week, and we now have three more training sessions in Hong Kong in readiness for the first matches on Friday evening. Hong Kong is the only three-day tournament this season. That makes things tough for the players from a physical point of views so it’s important we manage the squad well, not only for Hong Kong but with Adelaide in mind too a week later. We are fully focussed on our opening match against hosts Hong Kong on Friday evening before taking on Spain and South Africa in our other Pool matches on Saturday. Only one team from each Pool is guaranteed a place in the Cup quarter-finals so every match is massive.
“We performed well in our first three tournaments, reaching three consecutive Cup quarter-finals. We were disappointed with our outing in Las Vegas but we are determined to put that right and be as competitive as possible over the next two weekends.”
Wales Sevens squad for Hong Kong and Adelaide:
Jevon Groves (capt, Dragons), Lee Rees (Scarlets), Rhys Jones (Newport), Gareth Davies (Cardiff), Rhodri Gomer-Davies (Dragons), Rhys Shellard (Cardiff), Richie Pugh (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Nicky Griffiths (Dragons), Adam Thomas (Pontypridd), Alex Walker (Eastwood, Sydney), Warren Davies (Tonmawr), Kristian Phillips (Ospreys)