"Whilst we are all pleased with how far we have come, there is a real desire within the squad to further improve the quality of our play as well as our world ranking."
Zak Jones

As a result, the latest FIH world rankings see Wales proudly sitting as the 18th best team on the planet having moved up seven places above the likes of Scotland, Egypt, Russia, USA and China.

Wales senior men head coach Zak Jones, who was in the team the last time Wales played in the top tier, is delighted with the team's latest achievement.

Jones said: "I'm obviously delighted for the players and staff and also incredibly proud of them and their efforts.

"A huge amount of hard work and commitment has gone in from everyone involved over the last four years, which has contributed to what has been an incredible journey from the C division to the top six in Europe.

"The highest ranking in our history is a testament to all the development and learning that has occurred, as well as the huge sacrifices our athletes make."

Wales have been defying the odds by mixing it with the sport's wealthy elite. Hopefully their latest successes will attract new funding and sponsorship to help them to improve their global standing even further.

Jones said: "Whilst we are all pleased with how far we have come, there is a real desire within the squad to further improve the quality of our play as well as our world ranking.

"Having built good relationships with a number of the higher ranked nations over the past 18 months, we are looking forward to the challenge of playing them more often and the opportunity that presents for us to improve again.

"Given our severely limited resources, we are also hopeful that our recent exposure and success might lead to an increase in sponsorship and funding that will allow is to go to the next level."