RGC star Afon Bagshaw made a considerable impact for the Welsh 7s side at the first leg of the World Series in Dubai.

The Gogs’ full-back was appointed vice-captain for the tournament in recognition of his outstanding leadership since being awarded a 7s contract by the Welsh Rugby Union, and he performed exceptionally well on day two of the showcase during what was a marked improvement overall from the national side after a difficult opening to the competition.

France first up seemed there for the taking, before errors crept in and allowed Les Bleus to get away with the game. However, Wales bounced back with a gritty win against Zimbabwe, before finishing with a convincing 31-7 victory against Japan.

Head coach Richard Pugh, said: "It's been a good two days in terms of learning and experiences gained for these young boys.

"To finish with two wins - especially the last one against Japan, when we actually executed our gameplan and played sevens - was pleasing, and we scored some nice tries.

"I hope now that they can take confidence, regardless of who we have in our pool in Cape Town next week, and push on. I don't want us to go back into our shells. The confidence we showed against Japan was the difference; to pass the ball with width and really attack their defence.

With just 103 World Series caps in their squad, Wales were the second most inexperienced side in the tournament, and the challenge they faced on day one looked even more difficult in hindsight, with pool opponents New Zealand and USA making it all the way to the final.

"It's a case of lessons learned. It's been intense at times, and emotional too because the boys don't like losing,” added Pugh.

“None of us do. After four losses it can get difficult and it shows the resilience of the players to be able to bounce back like they did and get the two wins today."

Wales will now travel to South Africa for the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series.