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Cunningham names experienced Wales side for Japan game

WALES Women head coach Ioan Cunningham has named an experienced side to face Japan on Sunday (Cardiff Arms Park, 5pm).

Saracens hooker Kat Evans is the only uncapped player, having been handed her senior Wales debut in the starting line-up. Scrum-half Keira Bevan partners Elinor Snowsill at half back in her first international appearance since facing England in March 2020.

Cunningham said: “As coaches we had a tough selection process, with competition for places very high. The whole squad performed well against the Black Ferns but we feel this group will give us the best opportunity to get a good performance and result. We also want to see some combinations especially with Richard Whiffin and I new in our roles.

“Kat (Evans) fully deserves her starting berth. She has a very high work rate and brings added physicality to the pack. Apart from Kat, we have a fairly experienced spine of the team with a number of leaders who are gaining experience on and off the field. Elinor and Keira are playing well together for Bristol and we are excited with the options the back three will bring. We have flexibility in our options in the back five with Georgia and Siwan able to cover second row and two back row players on the bench.

“Our priority is to ensure we do the basics right, and then we can look to get the ball out wide to play some attacking rugby.

“We are all looking forward to welcoming a crowd back to the Arms Park and produce a performance to shout about.”

Tickets for the game are available via www.wru.wales/waleswomen

Wales Women v Japan: Jasmine Joyce (Bristol Bears); Lisa Neumann (Sale Sharks), Hannah Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury), Kerin Lake (Gloucester-Hartpury), Courtney Keight (Bristol Bears); Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Bears), Keira Bevan (Bristol Bears); Caryl Thomas (Worcester Warriors), Kat Evans (Saracens), Donna Rose (Saracens), Natalia John (Bristol Bears), Gwen Crabb (Gloucester-Hartpury), Georgia Evans (Sarcens), Bethan Lewis (Gloucester-Hartpury), Siwan Lillicrap (Capt, Bristol Bears)

Carys Phillips (Worcester Warriors), Cara Hope (Gloucester-Hartpury), Cerys Hale (Gloucester-Hartpury), Alex Callender (Worcester Warriors), Alisha Butchers (Bristol Bears), Ffion Lewis (Worcester Warrior), Robyn Wilkins (Gloucester-Hartpury), Megan Webb (Bristol Bears)