Lloyd Williams leads Cardiff Blues academy graduates in Wales 7s squad

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Cardiff Blues scrum-half has been named in the Wales 7s squad by head coach Gareth Williams for the Rugby 7s World Cup which takes place this weekend in San Francisco.

He will be joined in the squad by fellow Cardiff Blues academy graduates Cory Allen, Owen Jenkins and Ben Roach, while Adam Thomas is another player included who has graced the home dressing room at the Arms Park.

30-year-old Williams played for Wales 7s as part of the development pathway in 2010, before making his senior Wales 15s debut in 2011. Since then he has gone on to win 28 caps, and make 169 Cardiff Blues appearances, but has found himself slipping behind Gareth Davies, Aled Davies and Tomos Williams in the national 15s setup.

Lloyd Williams Benetton
Lloyd Williams returns to the Wales 7s setup this summer

The other full-time regional player in the squad is Allen, who moved to the Ospreys from Cardiff Blues last summer after six seasons and 56 appearances at the Arms Park.

However, the injury problems that plagued his last few seasons in the capital have followed him west down the M4, and after just nine appearances in black he has turned to the Wales 7s setup for fitness and game time.

Elsewhere Ben Roach and Owen Jenkins, both of whom at 24 came through the academy at the same time, have been regulars in the Wales 7s setup in recent years and form part of the backbone of the squad.

Owen Jenkins 7s Final
Owen Jenkins has been a regular in the Wales 7s setup

They are joined in that bracket by Adam Thomas, a stalwart in the Wales 7s setup who played 22 times for Cardiff Blues between 2014 and 2016, but will make his last appearance on the 7s circuit in San Francisco before re-joining Pontypridd full-time next season.

It’s been a tough season for Gareth Williams’ men in the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series this season, finishing 14th overall with Trophy runner-up spots in Sydney, London and Paris the best results throughout the season.

However, improved showings on the Rugby Europe circuit in recent weeks have been cause for optimism, and the team will be hoping to channel the spirit of 2009 when Wales 7s won the World Cup.

Adam Thomas 7s
Adam Thomas bids farewell to 7s this weekend

In a slightly confusing format, Wales will begin their campaign against Zimbabwe in the ‘Championship Cup qualifying round’ on Friday, with the winner progressing to face the United States in the round of 16, while the loser will face the loser of Samoa v Uganda in the Bowl.

Follow @CardiffRugbyWeb throughout the weekend to track the progression of Wales 7s at the 2018 Rugby 7s World Cup.

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