RHODRI Davies became the latest Pembrokeshire player to represent Wales on the international stage after playing in the IRB World Sevens Series in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on the weekend.
Former Crymych player Davies has been involved in the Welsh squad’s training set up since the summer, and received his first call up last week as a replacement for injured skipper Adam Thomas.
Following the call up, he said on his Twitter account: “Excited for my debut tomorrow in the third leg of the IRB Sevens series, made even more special playing at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.”
The 22-year-old joined another former Pembrokeshire player, 23-year-old James Davies, in helping the Welsh to the Bowl semi finals before they were beaten by Australia.
“He has been involved in the sevens set up since August, but obviously was still over the moon to be called up,” said Rhodri’s father, Robin, a current coach at Crymych RFC.
“It was his first Wales cap at senior level and would have been a big learning curve for him.”
Llandovery RFC player Davies, who attended Ysgol Y Preseli and is well established on the club sevens circuit, started Wales’ opening Pool C game, a 26-10 win over the USA.
But it was namesake James, a former Whitland RFC player currently contracted to the Scarlets, who stole the show with a hat-trick in his side's win.
This followed his superb showing the previous weekend in Dubai, where he was named in the overall ‘team of the tournament’ by organisers.
The Welsh were then beaten 28-17 by Portugal, with James on the scoresheet again, before suffering a heavy 48-7 defeat to eventual runners-up New Zealand.
Day two saw Paul John’s injury stricken squad reduced to just eight players, but they still managed a 24-19 victory over Canada in the Bowl quarter finals, before going down 33-21 to Australia – with James grabbing two more tries.
The players arrived home on Tuesday morning, and both Rhodri and James will return to club action ahead of the next leg of the series, which takes place in the USA from January 24-26.