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player, including 64 tries, a record that equals Australia’s David Campese and eclipses Shane Williams. Blended with this experience are young, up-and-coming talents such as Charlie Murray who made her debut for Wales this year, making the step-up from the U20s along with a number of U20 capped players including the current captain, Sian Williams and Nia Davies. The team is coached and managed by Nigel Francis, who is currently head coach at Cardiff Harlequins Ladies’ RFC and has experience playing 7s with the West Country Cavaliers. Whilst wishing to compete at every


tournament the first year has also been about player development, with one notable success


being the involvement of Lauren Therin at Rugby Rocks, who went on to represent England A later in the season at Newquay. The Akuma Dragons have so far entered


two tournaments, reaching the semi-final at Rugby Rocks and the plate final at the West Country 7s. Their final outing of the year will be at the Aberaeron 7s on 27th August, where a number of new, exciting prospects will be pulling the shirt on for the first time, including Cerys Ballett and Joanne Jones, who have both been capped at U20 level at the age of 17. The first season has been used to develop a core squad of players and to expose younger players to competitive 7s in order to establish a firm


base from which the team can grow over the coming seasons. The Akuma Dragons aim is to provide a clear


development pathway for players with the talent and aspiration to play rugby for their country and also the opportunity to play competitive rugby against the best 7s players in the country and develop the skills necessary to play international rugby. Looking to the future, the team will be hoping to enter more tournaments in 2012 with at least one overseas tournament. The squad are immensely grateful to Dragon


CrossFit and WDS Green Energy; two Cardiff based companies that have supported the squad in their inaugural season.


Issue 4 / www.ukrugbysevens.com / 25


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