Wales battle back to 11th at the Rugby World Cup Sevens

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Wales overcame early disappointment at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco to finish 11th place overall, a place higher than their ranking going into the event.

Head coach Gareth Williams had named an experienced side after a disappointing HSBC World Sevens Series season, with 15s internationals Lloyd Williams and Cory Allen included, as well as young Dragons winger Jared Rosser.

Regulars in the Wales 7s squad Owen Jenkins, Ben Roach, Luke Morgan and Luke Treharne were also named in the side captained by Adam Thomas in his last international 7s competition.

Lloyd Williams Benetton
Lloyd Williams was included in the Wales 7s squad

The format of the competition saw Wales having to play a qualifying round to get into the Championship competition courtesy of being ranked outside the top eight in the world. Zimbabwe were the opponents but were easily overcome 33-12 with tries from Morgan (2), Rosser, Roach and Allen.

This set up a meeting with the USA, a powerhouse in 7s and ranked fifth in the world, for a spot in the quarter-finals. Wales stayed in the game during the first half, but during the second period the host nation showed off their track sprinters turned 7s players in Perry Baker and Carlin Isles, who saw them to a 35-0 win.

As a result of that loss, Wales dropped into the Challenge Trophy on day two to face Samoa in the quarter-finals. A tight game saw the score tied at 19-19 at full-time, with the teams entering five minutes of added on time. Eventually it was Tom Williams of the Ospreys who stretched for the line and scored the golden point for Wales.

Tom Williams Wales 7s
Tom Williams was the subject of the attack from the Samoa player

Unfortunately this tie was soured by events that happened in the tunnel at full-time, as match winner Williams was assaulted by Samoan player Gordon Langkilde, with the matter now in the hands of the local police authority. Williams was replaced by Will Talbot-Davies for the final day’s action.

The semi-final of the Trophy saw an all-Celtic tie between Wales and Ireland, with the Irish running out winners 27-12 after an impressive end of the season that had seen them perform well in both the London and Paris 7s competitions.

This meant that Wales played for 11th place in the final game of the weekend, and finished the tournament on a high with a 35-12 win over Canada. That final position being one higher than the world ranking held going to San Francisco.

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