Former Dragons going for glory in Glasgow
FORMER Newport Gwent Dragons players Jevon Groves and Will Harries have been named in the Wales Sevens squad for the Commonwealth Games.
The duo, whose contracts with the Rodney Parade region expired at the end of last season, are in a 12-strong squad for the tournament in Glasgow.
Exeter University student Luke Treharne is the surprise inclusion while Cardiff Blues fly-half Gareth Davies, like Groves and Harries, makes a return to sevens from the 15-a-side game.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams admits he has had to make some tough selection calls with regulars on the IRB World Series - Will Price, Sam Cross, Jason Harries and Rhys Jones all missing out on selection.
"I have to admit some conversations haven't been easy but it goes to show how tough it is for competition for places within the squad," he said.
"It's a compliment to those who have missed out that some tight decisions were forced upon me but to be fair, players put their hands up over the recent training block and in Moscow where we competed in the FIRA Grand Prix.
"I believe we've got an exciting squad with quite a bit of experience. We've set ourselves targets which will remain in-house," he added.
Treharne is the only player in the squad who hasn't been capped at international Sevens level but he doesn't lack experience in the shorter form of the game. He was part of the Great Britain Students squad which won the world title in Brive two years ago and Williams has no qualms about throwing him in at the deep end.
"Luke is someone we have been monitoring for some time but with his medical studies it has been difficult to see a lot of him.
“He's played a lot of Sevens though and he has figured prominently in training. With his ability to play both 9 and 10 he offers us some versatility and with players like Gareth Davies, Lee Williams and Gareth Owen in the squad, we have players who can manipulate space for our outside backs."
And even though Groves and Harries have been carving out regional careers since leaving Sevens, with Harries claiming three caps for Warren Gatland's Wales side since he left the World Series, Williams is confident both players can make a mark in Glasgow where his side face Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia in their pool.
"Jevon brings us a level of leadership second to none and his presence brings a new dimension to the side while Will is a real threat in the wider channels. I've got no concerns with them coming back into the squad after some time away from Sevens," added Williams.
The tournament will also be a Sevens swansong for captain Adam Thomas and James Davies before they embark on regional careers with Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets respectively.
Wales Sevens Commonwealth Games squad: Adam Thomas (Captain - Cardiff Blues),Craig Price (Scarlets), Iolo Evans (Carmarthen Quins), James Davies (Scarlets), Jevon Groves (Cardiff Blues), Luke Treharne (Exeter University), Lee Williams (Carmarthen Quins), Gareth Davies (Cardiff Blues), Will Harries (Unattached), Gareth Owen (Scarlets), Luke Morgan (Bridgend), Alex Webber (Pontypridd)