WALES Women head coach Ioan Cunningham has named an experienced side to face Ireland on Saturday (RDS, 16.45).

Kayleigh Powell returns to the Wales team for her first Test since the 2021 Women’s Six Nations, starting at full-back.

Kelsey Jones also returns to the matchday squad after missing the autumn while for Sioned Harries returns for the first time since facing Ireland in November 2019. Sisilia Tuipulotu is set to make her debut if she comes off the bench on Saturday.

Ioan Cunningham said: “We feel we have a good balance in the side with plenty of experience alongside some exciting young players too. It’s good to have players like Kayleigh, Kelsey and Sioned back in the squad at the start of this tournament.

“Sisilia has settled in well to the training environment after taking up a retainer contract and she fully deserves to make the next step to international rugby. The more exposure we can give her at this level, the more comfortable she will be.

“The game against USA two weeks ago gave everyone a chance to stake their claim so we are certainly rewarding performance but also very conscious that we have three Test matches in three weekends. There is now healthy competition throughout the squad which is ideal.

“We want to build on the good progress we saw in the autumn. We want to play a high tempo game and have challenged the players to perform at high intensity.”

WALES WOMEN TEAM V IRELAND (SATURDAY, 4.45, RDS)

  1. GWENLLIAN PYRS
  2. CARYS PHILLIPS
  3. CERYS HALE
  4. NATALIA JOHN
  5. GWEN CRABB
  6. ALISHA BUTCHERS
  7. ALEX CALLENDER
  8. SIWAN LILLICRAP (Capt)
  9. KEIRA BEVAN
  10. ELINOR SNOWSILL
  11. JASMINE JOYCE
  12. KERIN LAKE
  13. HANNAH JONES
  14. LISA NEUMANN
  15. KAYLEIGH POWELL

Replacements:

  1. KELSEY JONES
  2. CARA HOPE
  3. DONNA ROSE
  4. SIONED HARRIES
  5. BETHAN LEWIS
  6. FFION LEWIS
  7. ROBYN WILKINS
  8. SISILIA TUIPULOTU