DRAGONS flanker James Benjamin has been recalled to the Wales Sevens squad in Olympic year.

The 25-year-old from Rogerstone has been selected by head coach Darren Edwards, his former boss at Rodney Parade, for the tournaments in New Zealand and Australia.

Benjamin, whose mobility and ball-playing ability led to an experiment as a centre last season, played in the 2017 World Rugby Sevens Series when out of favour at the Dragons.

He featured prominently in regional rugby the following season but made a return to the shortened format to represent his country at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Now Benjamin, who has played five Dragons games in the current campaign after suffering a finger injury in pre-season, has a chance to press for Team GB selection at the Olympics, which take place in Tokyo in July.

He has been named in the Wales squad for this weekend’s tournament in Hamilton and the Sydney leg the following weekend along with Dragons teammates Joe Goodchild and James McCarthy.

Wing/full-back Goodchild has been a regular on the circuit and the 21-year-old from Garndiffaith makes a return after missing the Cape Town leg through injury.

South Wales Argus:

McCarthy, also a back three player, is set for his Wales debut after previously playing for Ireland in the U18 Rugby Europe Championship in 2017.

The 21-year-old from Newport played for Wales Under-18s when coming through the Dragons academy, played for Ireland Under-20s while with Munster and is now back in red after returning to the Rodney Parade region.

Dragons speedster Rio Dyer, who started at Newport High School Old Boys like McCarthy, is Wales' top try scorer after two rounds of the series but does not feature after starting the last three games for Dean Ryan's side because of injuries in the back three.

The 21-year-old also suffered a blow to his right shoulder in last Friday's European Challenge Cup win against Enisei-STM.

Wing George Gasson is included after earning a core sevens contract following the 23-year-old from Caerphilly's release by the Dragons last summer.

Ben Roach, who played in the back row for the Dragons in the Celtic Cup last year, is captain for the Hamilton tournament when Wales will face hosts New Zealand first up.

Edwards men also take on Scotland and the USA in the pool stages as they bid to improve on their 15th-place ranking, with Japan the only team beneath them.

Wales squad: Dragons - James Benjamin, Joe Goodchild, James McCarthy; Pontypridd - Morgan Sieniawski; Swansea University - Brandon Wood; core Players: Luke Treharne (captain for Sydney), Cameron Lewis, Jay Jones, Dafydd Smith, Cai Devine, Will Thomas, George Gasson, Ben Roach (captain for Hamilton).

Pool A: New Zealand, Scotland, USA, Wales.

Pool B: South Africa, Kenya, England, Kapan.

Pool C: France, Ireland, Canada, Spain.

Pool D: Fiji, Argentina, Australia, Samoa.