WALES men recorded a 38-5 victory over Zambia in the Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens last night but are out of the medal hunt.

Scarlets Academy wing Callum Williams  was part of 13-man Wales Sevens squad seeking to secure a place in the quarter-finals when they took on Fiji in their final Group C match at the Coventry Stadium this afternoon.

But following a 31-0 defeat in their opening match against Canada, Wales were eliminated from the tournament when they lost 38-24 to the South Sea Islanders who are double Olympic champions but seeking their first Commonwealth gold.

The home nations have experienced what has been described as a humbling at the Commonwealth Games which has only exacerbated the turmoil in rugby sevens ahead of next season’s merger of England, Scotland, and Wales.

Only Scotland’s men made it through to the knockout phase at Birmingham 2022, with Team England’s men and women both falling short of the medal matches in Coventry.

This year’s hosts claimed double bronze at Gold Coast 2018 but comprehensive defeats to New Zealand in their final group games ensured there would be no repeat four years later.

Those results come off the back of the decision from the three unions, Wales say mandated by World Rugby, to combine once again to form Great Britain men’s and women’s teams for the 2023 World Sevens Series.

And opinion amongst the players was mixed on the future direction of the sevens game, with Welsh winger Lloyd Lewis concerned about impact it will have on his country’s team.

“Obviously, it’s come out in the press that it's going to GB sevens now for next season which is a bit disappointing as a lot of the boys will miss out,” said Lewis.

“We don’t really know what’s happening. It’s all up in the air but as a squad we’re just focusing on this, finishing the World Series in LA in August and then the World Cup in September.

“We’re all just trying to enjoy our time in the jersey while we can.”

Tyler Morgan has only recently joined the sevens programme and admitted it is a shame that chances could be more limited once the home nations combine to form GB again.

“I’m not sure how the programme is going to look next year,” said Morgan, who also featured alongside Lewis for Wales in their 38-24 defeat to the formidable Fiji in their final Pool C game.

“There will still be some sort of Wales setup but just not in the World Sevens Series and there should be a lot of boys here going to GB as we have got a decent set of players here.

“They are talented guys and very good individuals so hopefully a lot of them go on to represent GB but it’s a shame there’s only one World Sevens Series tournament left for us.

“I can’t really say what the future is going to look like, we’re going to have to wait a year or two to see how it goes. Obviously having less players playing at the top level is difficult.

“You have less exposure than if you’re on a stronger team competing for trophies, but you learn a lot about winning. It’s a fine balance and we probably won’t know until four years' time.”

The home nation sides previously came to gather under the GB banner in 2021 amid funding cuts in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games, with England's players losing their central contracts in August 2020 because of the financial impact of the Covid pandemic.

But Team England captain Alex Davis, speaking after his side were handed a 20-0 defeat by the Kiwis in their final Pool A game, backed the move to combine the unions again.

“It’s a big step up and I think it’s great for the home nations and for the growth of British sevens, with the Olympics being the pinnacle of the sport now. I think it’s the right thing,” said Davis.

His thoughts were echoed by Tom Bowen, another member of the bronze medal-winning squad on the Gold Coast, who believes the GB approach will provide something to aspire to.

On the pitch for Wales Callum Williams, 20, has impressed as part of the national squad on the sevens circuit this season having represented Wales in the Singapore and Vancouver legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The former Ysgol y Preseli schoolboy has been playing for the Scarlets Development side and Llandovery RFC in the Indigo Premiership, and recently made his Scarlets senior debut.

He is already something of a globetrotter, having played at Toulouse, Twickenham, Budapest and Bucharest.

“Callum has been playing rugby since he was 10 years old,” mum Helen told her local paper, the Tivy-Side Advertiser, ahead of the Zambia match.

“Rugby is his life.”

Having signed for the Scarlets at 16, Callum – who is related to Wales scrum-half Lloyd Williams – is an exciting player noted for his pace.

READ MORE: Wales Rugby Sevens: The unquantifiable magic of Welshness

Helen, Callum’s dad Duane and sister Coral have been glued to the television by the action from Coventry.

“It’s fantastic Callum’s a part of it,” said Helen, before the tournament began.

“We cannot believe it. The Games are such a big deal, yet Callum has worked so hard to get there - we are all so proud of him.”

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