HEAD coach Richie Pugh insists his Wales youngsters will be well served by the lessons learnt in a nightmare opening to the World Rugby Sevens Series.

The first two rounds in Dubai and Cape Town have been unforgiving on an inexperienced group, who are yet to win a pool game and endured 13th and 14th placed finishes.

In South African they lost to Australia, Scotland and Canada on day one then Samoa and Kenya either side of a win against Japan.

It has been a rough introduction to the series for the squad, which features Dragons players Will Talbot-Davies, Taine Basham, Joe Goodchild and George Gasson.

"The boys have described the World Series as 'brutal' and that ranges from the emotional side of things to how tough it is on your body, but those are the important lessons we're going through and the experiences they're gaining from it," said Pugh.

"Although the boys might not feel it at the moment, they will definitely have learnt a lot. If you look at it purely from a results perspective, you might think it's not been a great two weeks, but you can't put a price on the players' development."

Wales now lick their wounds, with players heading back to regional and Premiership duty, until the series restarts in 2019 with the legs in New Zealand and Australia.

"I want to keep consistent squad," said Pugh. "There were a few boys putting their hands up for selection before Dubai and Cape Town that we might want to look, and some new faces coming in off the back of injuries.

"But for us to improve, we need consistency and to keep these boys involved. It's about striking right balance between myself, (head coach of Wales Under-20s) Gareth Williams and the regional programmes.

"If we can do that, then we'll get what's best for the player. From a team point of view, we're building a foundation.

"Our squad has an average age of 21, which shows what our programme is about and what we're pushing towards. As long as we're comfortable with what we're doing, we'll get the rewards for it."

World Cup winner Pugh is quick to stress that Wales are playing the long game and that the tough start in Dubai and Cape Town should help them as the series progresses.

"You only need to look at the body language of a player coming off the back of a loss, when you need to go again in two hours," he said.

"For some, it spurs them on and they rise to it. That's when you see what a player is about, and they learn a lot about themselves too. It's the first time for most of these boys on the series, and they'll have to get used to it.

"Like I said last week, no one likes losing, but can we say they're better rugby players for the last fortnight? I absolutely believe so.

"They're better able to understand themselves, their character, where they need to improve and what they need to go through to do that.

"We're realistic about where we're at as a team, as a programme, but we want to keep making improvements.

"We've had two rounds of the World Series to get into it now, so there are fewer excuses and we've got to step up and learn really quickly."