Scarlets duo Iestyn Rees and Callum Williams have been included in the Wales 7s squad for the final leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Los Angeles (August 27-28).
It will be back-rower Rees’s first appearance for Wales in the short form of the game.
“Iestyn is someone who has come late into the programme. He’s a big physical character so that is something we are always looking for,” said head coach Richie Pugh.
“He’s athletic as well and can do a job from a forwards point of view in the contact area. We’re looking for him to be dominant and bring that physical edge that is needed really.”
Wales enter the tournament after hearing the news that former player Ethan Davies has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and urgently needs to find a matching blood stem cell donor.
“When news broke amongst the squad about Ethan the boys took time to reflect,” said Pugh. “They understand he has been a big part of the performance programme.
“He was a special player when he was on the world series with Wales. He did a lot in the Welsh jersey, so our thoughts are with him, and we want to support him and give him strength through this time.
“I know messages have been going out there about registering to be a donor and that is the first thing we can all do – put that link out there to show people that we can all play a part in supporting Ethan in that. We wish him all the best in his battle. I know he is a fighter, and he is a strong kid and we’re all here for him.”
Wales men’s Sevens squad
Luke Treharne (Wales 7s), Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), Morgan Sieniawski (Wales 7s), Chris Smith (Bishop’s Stortford), Tom Brown (Wales 7s), Callum Williams (Scarlets). Callum Carson (Aberavon), Iwan Pyrs Jones (Hartpury), Morgan Williams (Wales 7s), Cole Swannack (Newport), Lloyd Lewis (Wales 7s), Ewan Rosser (Dragons), Kane Teear-Bourge (Royal Navy)
Saturday 27 August
Wales v Fiji – 19.10 UK time
Wales v Ireland –22.09 UK time
Wales v France – 01.37 UK time (Sunday 28 August)