Wales Women’s coach Chris Horsman believes there is a lot more to come from the squad in the upcoming Women’s Six Nations, after naming a 34-strong group.
Horsman, Geraint Lewis and Gareth Wyatt took over selection duties with head coach Rowland Phillips still absent, as Carys Phillips and Sioned Harries, who each have over 50 caps, failed to make the cut.
And after an autumn international series which saw victories over both Ireland and Scotland, Horsman believe his side go into the Championship with great confidence.
“We are pleased with the progress made during the autumn campaign, both in terms of creating fitness benchmarks and raising our performance standards. We made clear improvements in November and the togetherness shown was obvious throughout the month,” the former men’s Worcester Warrior prop said.
Excited to get back involved 🏉❤ https://t.co/62TQI6NK5E
— Hannah Bluck (@Hannah_Bluck) January 13, 2020
“Everyone named has earned their place in the squad but they have a chance now to step up and raise their performance standards to the next level.
“The Six Nations is a fantastic competition with so much prestige and tradition. I was lucky to be part of it as a player and am excited to be part of this coaching team, leading a senior side into the Six Nations for the first time.”
Jasmine Joyce, Hannah Jones and Alisha Butchers return to the squad who will face Italy in their opening match at Cardiff Arms Park on February 2nd, with Hannah Bluck and Lleucu George also coming back into the fold.
Siwan Lillicrap will continue as captain of the Welsh side, who will be looking to improve on their two victories in last year’s competition this time around, and the 32-year-old is looking forward to leading her team out.
“It’s such a privilege and honour to be handed the role of Six Nations captain,” the second-rower said. “It’s literally what my childhood dreams were made of and I hope I can do the shirt, the players, my family and the coaches proud.”
— JasmineJoyce (@joyce_jaz) January 13, 2020
Wales Women Rugby squad for 2020 Six Nations
Forwards: Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Gwen Crabb, Georgia Evans, Abbie Fleming, Cerys Hale, Lleucu George, Cara Hope, Natalia John, Manon Johnes, Kelsey Jones, Molly Kelly, Sarah Lawrence, Bethan Lewis, Ruth Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap, Robyn Lock, Gwenllian Pyrs
Backs: Keira Bevan, Hannah Bluck, Hannah Jones, Jasmine Joyce, Courtney Keight, Kerin Lake, Caitlin Lewis, Ffion Lewis, Lisa Neumann, Kayleigh Powell, Paige Randall, Lauren Smyth, Elinor Snowsill, Niamh Terry, Megan Webb, Robyn Wilkins
Wales’ Women’s Six Nations fixtures
Sunday 2nd February: Wales vs Italy, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff 1.00pm
Sunday 9th February: Ireland vs Wales, Energia Park, Dublin, 1.00pm
Sunday 23rd February: Wales vs France, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, 12.00pm
Saturday 7th March: England vs Wales, Twickenham Stoop, London, 12.05pm
Sunday 15th March: Wales vs Scotland, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, 1.10pm