Wales have made five changes for the North American leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, which includes the debuting Ben Cambriani
A standout performer for Wales U18s last season, young Ospreys wing Ben Cambriani has been given the nod and takes his place in the Wales Sevens squad for this weekend which starts in Las Vegas on Friday (1st-3rd March).
“Ben Cambriani has been playing well for Swansea in the Principality Premiership, and he’s been in and around the Wales U20 squad this year,” explained head coach Richie Pugh. “He’s a powerful, fast and dynamic player who’s come into training camp and performed well, so this is a reward for his good efforts.
The likes of scrum-halves Dane Blacker and Reuben Morgan-Williams have returned to regional rugby as scheduled, as has forward Taine Basham, who scored a hat-trick for Wales U20 against Italy in round two of the Six Nations.
“Taine went straight into the U20s and carried on the good work he showed in Cape Town for us,” said Pugh, who will be assisted in this leg by Cardiff Blues’ Richie Rees. “The fluency of players between the sevens programme and regions has also been good, and Dane and Reuben have been getting involved with Blues and Ospreys respectively, which is what this programme is all about. For us now it’s a case of building on the momentum we created in Sydney where we had our highest finish so far this season.”
In the pool stage at the Sam Boyd Stadium, Wales will come up against three sides ranked in the top seven of the world: Australia, Fiji and Scotland. “We say every time how tough the pools are, but that’s ultimately what this programme is about: exposing these players to the challenges of the World Rugby Sevens Series.”
The North American leg of the series concludes next weekend in Vancouver.
Wales’ Las Vegas fixtures (all times GMT), live on Sky Sports:
Friday: Australia v Wales (23:00). Saturday: Fiji v Wales (02:23), Wales v Scotland (19:30).
Wales Sevens squad: Luke Treharne (c), Afon Bagshaw (vc), Ben Roach, Ethan Davies, Owen Jenkins, Cai Devine (all core players) Cardiff Blues: Dafydd Smith, Cameron Lewis Dragons: Rio Dyer, George Gasson, Joe Goodchild Ospreys: Ben Cambriani Scarlets: Tom Rogers