WALES Women head coach Ioan Cunningham is relishing the challenge of playing England at Ashton Gate tomorrow (Wednesday, 7.30pm, ITV, ITV Hub)
The Test match is the last run-out for the squad ahead of the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Cunningham will announce the final Rugby World Cup squad next week and he believes this is the perfect chance for some players to book a place on the plane.
He said, “Following a big two months of preparation and a tough training and match week in Canada, this is exactly the kind of challenge we need ahead of our Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland in October.
“England are the No 1 team in the world, we’ll be playing in front of a big crowd and giving some players opportunities to transfer their excellent work in training to a playing environment.
“It will be the last chance for some players to put their hands up for inclusion in the world cup squad. We are discussing the squad daily and we aren’t far off, but there are probably still four or five places up for grabs.”
Cunningham is very clear about the areas that need improvement following the 31-3 loss to Canada almost three weeks ago.
“We want to be better at the breakdown, we need to be more clinical and we need to finish off the scoring opportunities we create.
“We can take confidence from the way we started against England in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations and also from our own progress. We have made huge steps from a conditioning point of view but we need to see that what will be a highly intense Test match. We need to back ourselves to get our own job right and show everyone what we are capable of.”
Wales team v England
Wednesday 14 September 7.30pm Ashton Gate, Bristol (ITV 4, ITV Hub)
15 Niamh Terry (University of Worcester Warriors)
14 Lowri Norkett (University of Worcester Warriors)
13 Carys Williams-Morris (Loughborough Lightning)
12 Hannah Jones (capt, Gloucester-Hartpury)
11 Jasmine Joyce (Bristol Bears)
10 Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Bears)
9 Ffion Lewis (University of Worcester Warriors)
1 Gwenllian Pyrs (Bristol Bears)
2 Carys Phillips (University of Worcester Warriors)
3 Cerys Hale (Gloucester-Hartpury)
4 Natalia John (University of Worcester Warriors)
5 Gwen Crabb (Gloucester-Hartpury)
6 Alisha Butchers (Bristol Bears)
7 Alex Callender (University of Worcester Warriors)
8 Sioned Harries (University of Worcester Warriors)
16 Kelsey Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury)
17 Caryl Thomas (University of Worcester Warriors)
18 Sisilia Tuipulotu (Gloucester-Hartpury)
19 Siwan Lillicrap (Gloucester-Hartpury)
20 Bethan Lewis (Gloucester-Hartpury)
21 Keira Bevan (Bristol Bears)
22 Lleucu George (Gloucester-Hartpury)
23 Megan Webb (Bristol Bears)
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