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Lewis and Smith retain Sevens spots for Hong Kong leg

Age Grade & Academy | 3rd April 2019

Cardiff Blues academy duo Cam Lewis and Daf Smith have been selected for Wales Sevens' latest HSBC World Sevens Series leg in Hong Kong.

Both Lewis and Smith were involved in the North American legs in Las Vegas and Vancouver, and line-up alongside former Cardiff Blues players, Owen Jenkins and Ben Roach.

Wales - captained by Luke Treharne - face a tough group at the Hong Kong Stadium spectacle, as they come up against series leaders, USA, who have qualified for five Cup finals in the last six legs. Richie Pugh's side will also challenge arch rivals, England, and promising outfit, Spain, who currently sit fifth and 11th in the overall table respectively.

Wales, who are 13th, equalled their season-best points tally in Vancouver and will hope to build upon the positive progress they made in North America. Ospreys' Reuben Morgan-Williams and Scarlets youngster Tomi Lewis are welcomed back into the set-up for the trip to Asia.

Smith and Lewis have registered a try each in the series, while fellow academy products, Ben Jones and Dane Blacker, have also featured over the course of the season.

Head coach Pugh said: “We’re looking to build on our performances in Vancouver, and the intensity in training has been decent. It’s still tough to replicate World Series levels on the training field, but the boys have pushed each other hard and produced a strong level of competition within the squad.

“Our players have more confidence to play now, and that comes with an understanding of game. Now we’re looking to build on basic things, and when we have the opportunity to attack we have to make sure we finish strongly rather than get turnovers, which are lethal in sevens.

“You can feed off the crowd, which the team did in Vancouver where the fans were excellent. Hong Kong has a good history, it’s one of the originals and the best, and once again the boys will be exposed to an environment that they can’t get back home week to week.”

And there will be plenty of Cardiff Blues interest with the host nation, with a number of former players and coaches involved with the Hong Kong Rugby Union: “We’ve got a hit out with Paul John’s Hong Kong team this Tuesday, who are also coached by Jevon Groves, and there’s a Welsh Society dinner organised by Tom Isaacs.

“There are so many guys out there who have been involved with the WRU, including Dai Rees, Leigh Jones and [former Wales U20 analyst] Marc Carter, that it’s become a kind of home away from home for us. There are loads of things going on which makes for a good week.”

After the conclusion of the leg in Hong Kong, Wales travel to Singapore next week before the final two legs are held in London and Paris in May.

Wales Sevens squad: Luke Treharne (c), Owen Jenkins, Cai Devine, Afon Bagshaw, Ben Roach (Wales Sevens core players), Dafydd Smith (Cardiff Blues), Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Joe Goodchild (Dragons), George Gasson (Dragons), Ben Cambriani (Ospreys), Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys), Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), Tom Rogers (Scarlets)

Wales’ Hong Kong fixtures: England v Wales (11:31 GMT, Friday), USA v Wales (05:25, Saturday). Wales v Spain (08:44, Saturday).