Wales Sevens head coach Paul John has named two Ospreys in his squad for this weekend's London Sevens at Twickenham.
Gareth Owen is selected two and a half years after his last appearance for Wales Sevens back in November 2008, alongside fellow Osprey Kristian Phillips.
John is looking for his side to finish the season strongly after lifting the Adelaide Plate trophy in their last outing. In addition to the reintroduction of Owen there are only two further changes to that squad – Ifan Evans returns after injury, while Aberavon centre Will Price could make his Wales Sevens debut.
John said, “We’re pleased with the consistency we’ve been able to show in selection for this tournament. Ifan is a welcome boost to the side, while Gareth Owen is a quality regional player, and Will Price has impressed in training and for his club recently.
“We have Spain, Kenya and New Zealand on Saturday so as ever, there is tough competition to reach the quarter-finals. Spain have been based in the UK for the past few weeks and have beaten England on their way to winning the Bury St Edmonds Sevens tournament, they also beat Marauders in lifting the Manchester Sevens title so they will be very well prepared. We’ve had a number of battles with Kenya recently, with one win each in recent tournaments – we beat them on Day One in Adelaide while they beat us in Las Vegas. New Zealand are currently leading the Series and this tournament will be important for them in clinching the title.
“We are pleased with where we are at the moment in the table and with our performances. We have been more competitive when we’ve got to quarter-finals this season and our aim is to do that again, and to go at least one step further if possible.
“It’s great to be playing just a couple of hours’ coach drive away, Twickenham is the closest we get to a home tournament and the atmosphere there in recent seasons has been fantastic so hopefully that will give us an extra lift”.
Wales will confirm their squad for the final leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the Scotland Sevens following this weekend’s tournament.
Wales Sevens squad for Emirates Airline London Sevens (May 21, 22): ?
Jevon Groves (capt, Dragons), Gareth Davies (Cardiff), 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), Ifan Evans (Llandovery), Gareth Owen (Ospreys), Will Price (Aberavon)