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Cunningham names ‘exciting’ squad for Falcons game

WALES Women head coach Ioan Cunningham has named an ‘exciting’ squad to take on USA Falcons at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

“It’s a great opportunity to see some players in a Wales jersey for the first time along with some players who are returning to the side that we as a management team haven’t seen before.

“It will be great to see the likes of Kayleigh Powell and Kelsey Jones in a Wales jersey for the first time since injury and Sioned Harries is settling in well into the environment too. She is experienced so it will be good to see how she goes in our environment. We are excited to see new players such as Sisilia Tuipulotu in a match situation for us for the first time, along with other squad players who are pushing for selection.

“Everyone has a chance this weekend to put their hands up for inclusion in the Six Nations squad along with starting berths and potentially contracts.

“USA Falcons will be a good side. All of their players are involved with Allianz Premier 15s clubs and will give us a very competitive hit-out ahead of Ireland in two weeks’ time.

“Parc y Scarlets is a great facility, we are looking forward to playing there. We want to play an attractive brand of rugby, hopefully supporters will take up the £1 community concession and come and see what we’re all about.”

Siwan Lillicrap will lead the side with Natalia John named as vice-captain.

Cunningham added, “We are developing a number of leaders within the squad and Natalia deserves this chance having led by example on and off the pitch within our full-time programme. We wish Georgia Evans a speedy recovery after suffering a significant arm injury while playing for Saracens. Two other contracted players Elinor Snowsill and Abbie Fleming, also miss this weekend through injury.”

Wales Women XV v USA Falcons:
Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Jasmine Joyce; Robyn Wilkins, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones, Cerys Hale, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Gwen Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Siwan Lillicrap (capt)

Replacements: Cara Hope, Kat Evans, Carys Phillips, Donna Rose, Jenni Scoble, Natalia John (vice-captain), Liliana Podpadec, Beth Lewis, Manon Johnes, Sioned Harries, Ffion Lewis, Lleucu George, Flo Williams, Caitlin Lewis, Emma Swords, Gemma Rowland, Lowri Norkett