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Riley Included in Wales Sevens Squad

25th March 2008

Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Baber has named a strong squad for the Hong Kong and Adelaide legs of the IRB Sevens World Series.

Wales leave for Hong Kong at the weekend where they take on Zimbabwe, Korea and Fiji in their Pool in a bid to reach the last eight of the Cup competition.

Captain Johnathan Edwards has recovered from a hamstring injury in time to make the trip and will be joined by experienced Sevens players including Cardiff's Richie Pugh, in a travelling squad of 13 players.

Blues centre Tom Riley will also make his international Sevens debut, while Wales Under 20 and Ospreys centre Gareth Owen returns to the Sevens circuit after featuring at the Dubai and George events earlier this season.

Riley has previously represented Wales at Under 18, Under 19 and gained further honours with Wales under 21s, helping the team to their Grand Slam achievement in 2005. Tom made his Blues debut against Munster in May 2006 and has so far made 8 appearances for the Blues, including 2 this season. Further appearances have been restricted by injury.

Baber said, "Hong Kong is a large tournament of 24 teams so while we will benefit from playing our three Pool games over two days, we have to either win our group or finish as one of the two best second-placed sides to progress to Day Three of the Cup competition. That is our aim - to finish in the top eight in both Hong Kong and Adelaide but we have to improve on our last tournaments if we are to achieve that goal."

Wales Sevens squad for Hong Kong and Adelaide:

Johnathan Edwards (capt, Scarlets), Richie Pugh (Cardiff), James Merriman (Neath), James Harris (Dragons), Lee Beech (Neath), Tom Riley (Blues), Lee Williams (Llanelli), Robert Lewis (Dragons), James Lewis (Dragons), Aled Brew (Ospreys), Alec Jenkins (Scarlets), Gareth Owen (Ospreys)

Hong Kong Sevens March 28 - 30
Pool D Wales, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Fiji

Adelaide Sevens April 5, 6
Pool B Wales, Samoa, Tonga, Japan