Justin Tipuric and Hallam Amos will boost a Wales Sevens squad that coach Gareth Williams believes can challenge for medals at the Commonwealth Games.
The Wales senior XV pair have been named in their country’s Sevens squad for the Games in Australia next month.
The duo are included in a 12-man party to head to Queensland in April, fresh from being part of Warren Gatland’s Six Nations squad which finished second behind Grand Slam winners Ireland.
But there is no place for Wales flanker James Davies, a silver medalist with Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics or Sam Cross, who was part of the same Olympic squad.
Davies is required by the Scarlets for their continuing European Champions Cup campaign as well as the defence of their Guinness Pro14 title. Cross, who is trying to establish himself at the Ospreys, asked not to be considered.
Adam Thomas captains Williams’ squad, who will face Fiji, Uganda and Sri Lanka in the group stage.
The rest of the squad announced by the Welsh Rugby Union is made up of Luke Treharne, Morgan Williams, Angus O’Brien, Luke Morgan, Owen Jenkins, Tom Williams, Ethan Davies, James Benjamin and Ben Roach.
Williams said: “This is a group that can challenge on big occasions. We see this as a great opportunity to showcase Sevens and our performance potential.
“Adam Thomas, Luke Treharne, Ethan Davies, Owen Jenkins, and Ben Roach have played a huge part in the development of young players such as Owen Lane and Jarred Rosser, and Luke Morgan is arguably the form player on the World Series to date with some fantastic individual performances this season.
“Tom and Morgan Williams have developed through the programme over the past two years and have shown an ability to perform against world-class opposition. This is an opportunity to turn that potential into proof and play a part in a huge push to achieve something special in this tournament.”
Tipuric, who started in Saturday’s Six Nations victory against France, represented Wales Sevens in the 2009/10 season before winning the first of his 57 caps in 2011.
It will be the first involvement in international sevens for 15-times capped Dragon Amos since 2012, when he featured in the European Grand Prix series in Moscow as a 17-year-old.
Powerhouse forward Adam Thomas captains the side, and is one of eight core players who feature regularly for their country on the World Rugby Sevens Series. Fly-half Ethan Davies – second-top points scorer in the Series last season – makes a timely return from injury, and is joined by fellow playmaker Luke Treharne, a newly qualified doctor.
Included also is wing Luke Morgan, whose phenomenal strike rate has landed him the accolade of all-time top try and points scorer for his country. They will also benefit from the experience of forwards Owen Jenkins and Benjamin Roach, who boast almost 50 tournaments between them.
North Wales duo Tom Williams and Morgan Williams, who have enjoyed time with Ospreys and Scarlets respectively this season, are back in the Sevens fold for one of the game’s biggest competitions.
Meanwhile, another former Wales U20 player, Angus O’Brien (Dragons), is selected after impressing Gareth Williams and assistant coach Richie Pugh in the early stages of the season.
Also joining Amos from the Dragons is James Benjamin, who recently used the Sevens programme as a launch-pad for a standout season with the Gwent region.