World Rugby Sevens Series: Wales face champions New Zealand

Luke Treharne
Sevens captain Luke Treharne competed for Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
World Rugby Sevens Series, Dubai
Venue: The Sevens, Dubai Date: Thursday, 29 November - Saturday, 1 November

Wales head coach Richie Pugh says some of his players will be "thrown into the deep end" when they face world champions New Zealand in the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai on Friday.

Five players are set to make their debuts, including Dane Blacker, Ben Jones, Taine Basham, Ryan Conbeer and Jay Jones.

Wales' other Group C opponents are USA and Spain.

"We need to expose players to these experienced teams," said Pugh.

"This is what sevens gives them an insight into, and it's fantastic for their learning," added the former sevens world cup winner.

Awen Prysor
Scarlets forward Awen Prysor is one of nine squad members involved in Wales' 15s set-up

A Wales women's development team will also take part in Dubai's invitational tournament.

Only Lucy Packer, Jodie Evans and Angharad De Smet have experience of playing international sevens, but head coach Jonathan Hooper said he was excited by the "talented crop of young players".

They open against South Africa on Thursday, followed by games against teams from Kazakhstan and Japan.

"There are no easy games in the heat... so I'm really looking forward to seeing how the squad adapt," Hooper said.

Wales: Afon Bagshaw (vice-captain), Cai Devine, Owen Jenkins, Jay Jones, Ben Roach, Luke Treharne (captain), Dane Blacker, Ben Jones, Taine Basham, Joe Goodchild, Will Talbot-Davies, Ryan Conbeer, Tomi Lewis.

Wales women: Angharad De Smet, Awen Prysor, Caitlin Lewis, Emma Hennessy, Hannah Bluck, Jodie Evans, Lleucu George, Lucy Packer, Masie MacKenzie, Megan Webb, Molly Philpott, Nia Gwyther.

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