Wales announce squad for Dubai

Wales Sevens head coach Paul John has made three changes to his squad for the second and third rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai (29-30 November) and South Africa (7-8 December).

Jason Harries and Luke Morgan have been recalled to the squad while Bridgend Ravens' Ashley Evans is given his first opportunity at this level after Will Thomas, Alex Webber and Iolo Evans drop out from the squad which competed in the first leg of the World Series in Australia due to injury concerns.

"Will broke his jaw on the Gold Coast so he's out for a few more weeks yet so Ashley Evans has come in to replace him,” said John. "Alex Webber is out probably up until Christmas so Luke Morgan, who has been part of the extended squad, and who has been training really well, deserves his chance while Jason Harries comes back in for Iolo, who has a broken hand.

"Jason was unlucky to miss out on the Gold Coast, but it shows how competitive the squad is at the moment. He deserves to be there, he is capable of performing really well.

"Luke played for us last year in Wellington and to be fair to Luke he has worked really hard on his game. He is an exciting prospect and he is someone on an upward spiral and hopefully he will do himself justice over the next couple of weeks.

"Ashley has been training with the squad and put his hand up for selection and deserves his opportunity. We are under no illusions as to how tough it is going to be in Dubai before we head off to Port Elizabeth.”

Wales have drawn Australia, Spain and Scotland for the pool stage of Dubai and despite finishing above all three in last year's series, John is taking nothing for granted.

"We haven't beaten Spain or Scotland for last couple of years – it's a tricky group in the sense that all teams feel they will have an opportunity of progressing to the quarter-finals so we will be looking to perform to our best in every game in order to get through.

"The first two games are massive as points difference is going to come into it as when teams are capable of beating each other you can miss out on qualification by a point. Every game is massive and I see this as a difficult group without a shadow of a doubt.”