Commonwealth Games: Scarlets' James Davies could miss Wales 7s campaign

By Gareth GriffithsBBC Wales Sport
James Davies
Scarlets flanker James Davies was part of the Team GB 7s side that claimed silver at the 2016 Olympic Games

Welsh Rugby Union head of performance Geraint John says Scarlets' James Davies could miss their 2018 Commonwealth Games campaign.

Flanker Davies, 25, was a key player for Team GB rugby 7s who won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

But the Commonwealths will be held on Australia's Gold Coast on 4-15 April, during the rugby season.

"It will be difficult for James because it's the middle of the season," said John.

"It's different to the Olympics which was at the end of the season.

"If James became available [Wales 7s coach] Gareth Williams would take him like a shot. He is an outstanding player with sevens and 15-a-side pedigree.

"We know that [Scarlets head coach] Wayne Pivac and the Scarlets will want to continue the success after winning the Pro12 title.

"So it would be doubtful James would be available for the Commonwealth Games.

"We hope to have a more experienced Sevens squad than we have had before.

"Gareth Williams is in discussions with the regions about what players could be available and added to the squad nearer the time as well.

"We want to see which players might benefit from being at the Commonwealth Games and Gareth has an excellent relationship with the regions."

John believes Wales can finish on the podium in Australia next year.

"The aim is to medal," said John.

"That is majorly difficult because the Commonwealth Games is as close to a world tournament as you can possibly get.

"Last time in Glasgow, Wales lost right at the death in the quarter-finals to Australia who I was coaching.

"The aim now is to go the other way and we have developed a lot of players over the last 24 months."

Team Wales will send a team of around 150 athletes to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia which will be held between 4-15 April.

Their target is to surpass the 25 medals they won in Auckland 1990, their best haul from a game outside the UK.

Team Wales have confirmed the participation of the men's 7s team, plus the netball team, for the Gold Coast.

Keira Bevan
Wales women 7s finished fifth at the Kazan Sevens to fulfil qualification criteria for 2018 Gold Coast

The women's 7s team have also qualified and are expected to be confirmed officially in early autumn.

"The women competed exceptionally well in Rugby Europe where they finished fifth," John added.

"Outside of England this was the highest in terms of Commonwealth Games teams.

"That was the criteria to qualify, to finish above Scotland, which we have done.

"We are just waiting from the Commonwealth Games Wales Board to say that the girls will be in.

"We have planned for it but won't celebrate it until we have that confirmation letter."

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