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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
Wales Sevens back for Melbourne
WRU chief executive Steve Lewis
Sevens is very much at the forefront of our thinking
WRU chief executive Steve Lewis
The Welsh Rugby Union have reconstituted their sevens side ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

A Wales side competed in Manchester in 2002, but was then disbanded as part of the WRU's cost-cutting reforms.

But WRU chief executive Steve Lewis said a sevens team would be entered in four competitions this season and held out hope for a reformed Wales A team.

"We need a forum for the development of our academy players like the southern hemisphere has," Lewis told BBC Sport.

"Sevens is very much at the forefront of our thinking, it's part of a high-performance strategy put in place with our academies.

"We see it as a stepping stone towards full internationals and a chance to test some of the outstanding talent in a match environment.

We want to feel part of Team Wales in Melbourne
Wales sevens coach Dai Rees
"This is as good a season as any to bring the sevens back as people will want to see a Wales team in the Commonwealth Games in March."

The Wales side will also compete in the Dubai (1-2 December) and Georgetown (9-10 December) legs of the International Rugby Board's world sevens series in the build-up to Melbourne.

They will then take part in the world-famous Hong Kong sevens tournament (31 March-2 April).

Dragons backs coach Dai Rees will take charge of the side, with David Jenkins and Gareth Baber on his management team.

"I'm privileged to be asked to coach the side and will co-operate closely with the regions to get the best team together," said Rees.

We've been looking at the future of the sevens and the A team for some time
WRU chief executive Steve Lewis
"We want to feel part of Team Wales in Melbourne and we'll be working with the other sports out there."

The Wales sevens and A teams were disbanded at the start of 2003 as part of the cash-strapped Union's cull of the game.

The game's finances are now in a far healthier state, but Lewis denied this was the only reason for the move.

"Cash is always a consideration, but this is principally a rugby decision," said Lewis.

"We've been looking at the future of the sevens and the A team for some time.

"The time is not quite right to bring back the A team with all the build-up to the 2007 World Cup.

"There never seem to be two or three years where the status quo remains, but we will look at things at the end of the season."

  • Wales have been drawn in the same qualifying pool as reigning champions New Zealand for the Commonwealth Games sevens.

    The other teams in the group are Kenya and Namibia.

    Wales 'A' team cut approved
    20 Feb 03 |  International
    Ruddock condemns Wales A threat
    22 Dec 02 |  International

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