Team Wales qualifies for first ever Commonwealth Games women’s rugby 7s tournament

Commonwealth Games Wales today confirmed that the Wales women’s rugby sevens side has secured a place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Wales will be competing alongside 7 other nations in what will be the first ever female sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games.

Women’s Rugby Sevens will make its eagerly anticipated Commonwealth Games debut at GC2018, while it will mark the sixth time Men’s Rugby Sevens will take place at a Commonwealth Games after its debut at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998.

The women’s team will be joining the Welsh men’s sevens squad which has also qualified for Gold Coast, as announced by Team Wales in the summer.

Last year, the Welsh Rugby Union received Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Gold Coast 2018 funding, secured by Team Wales, to prepare the women’s sevens squad for next year’s Games.

Helen Phillips, Chair of the Commonwealth Games Wales Board said: “We’re very proud to announce that the Welsh women’s rugby sevens team will be competing in the Gold Coast Games. We’re particularly excited that there will be a Team Wales female sevens presence when the sport appears on the schedule for the first time in 2018. The addition of the women’s tournament to the sport programme is an important step towards making the Commonwealth Games even more inclusive.”

She added: “Women’s rugby in Wales has seen a huge growth over the past few years, and we congratulate the WRU for all the development work that’s been done to put the Welsh squad in such a strong position to qualify for Gold Coast 2018. 

“The Games will be the first opportunity for the likes of Jaz Joyce, who competed as part of Team GB’s first ever women’s sevens squad at the Rio Olympic Games, to make history once again and to represent their own nation as part of Team Wales.”

Nick Wakley, Head Coach at WRU said: “I’m so proud that the team has made the Commonwealth Games. They totally deserved it after the hard work in Rugby Europe 7s over the two legs in Russia and France, resulting in our highest place finish. 

“Going in as 12th seed means we are going to be up against some top quality opposition, but we don’t want to make up numbers: we want to compete against these professional World Series teams, and I’ve challenged the players to do something every day which will help them get on the plane to Australia. They are already sacrificing a lot, and this Christmas period and in the New Year we will all be working exceptionally hard to prepare ourselves for what may be one of the biggest moments in their sporting lives.”

The Welsh men’s and women’s rugby sevens squads will be announced ahead of the Games next year.