Commonwealth Games 2022: Wales Sevens lose Olympic silver medallist Cross

Commonwealth Games 2022: Wales Sevens lose Olympic silver medallist Cross

Chris Smith combines playing rugby with being a deputy head teacher

Wales have lost Ospreys’ Olympic silver medallist Sam Cross to injury before the Commonwealth Games Sevens.

Cross suffered a knee injury in Bucharest as Wales qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa.

Wales coach Richie Pugh has recalled Chris Smith to play in Birmingham.

“It’s obviously unfortunate for Sam. It was a boost to us to have him involved with the group with his experience and ability but that is the nature of rugby,” said Pugh.

“But we’ve got a more-than-able replacement in Chris Smith. He did the Singapore and Vancouver legs and performed well there.

“He is a full-time deputy head teacher so he has been unavailable for other legs but he has been able to train with us in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games.”

Cross was originally named in the Wales Sevens squad alongside fellow 15-a-side Wales cap Tyler Morgan for the Games, but Bishop’s Stortford player Smith comes in.

Pugh’s side face Canada in their opening Games match on Friday, 29 July before further group stage fixtures against Zambia and Fiji.

“We’ve been in a battle with them in the world series all year really so it’s exciting we are hitting them in the first game and we’re looking to get into it,” added Pugh.

“This is an unique opportunity for the boys to be in these multi-sport events and we’re just embracing the Team Wales feeling.”

Wales Commonwealth Games Sevens squad: Luke Treharne (Wales Sevens), Tyler Morgan (Unattached), Morgan Sieniawski (Wales Sevens), Chris Smith (Bishop’s Stortford), Tom Brown (Wales Sevens), Callum Williams (Scarlets), Owen Jenkins (Unattached), Tom Williams (Wales Sevens), Morgan Williams (Wales Sevens), Cole Swannack (Newport), Lloyd Lewis (Wales Sevens), Ewan Rosser (Dragons), Callum Carson (Aberavon).

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