Trio set for debut as Wales women kick-off Six Nations campaign

First published in Sport

THREE uncapped players from the same club have been selected by Wales women's head coach Rhys Edwards for Sunday's opening Six Nations clash against Italy at the Talbot Athletic Ground (Kick off 1pm).

Wing Laurie Harries and centre Robyn Wilkins will make their international debut alongside Llandaff North colleague Jenny Hawkins who will pack down in the second row.

Bristol Ladies' scrum half Sian Moore is also yet to play Test match rugby, but she will start from the bench as Amy Day's understudy while Maesteg Celtic wing Ffion Bowen has seen her rapid rise

Prop Jenny Davies, who with 60 caps next to her name is the most capped player in the squad, earns a spot on the replacements bench after a long battle with injury while Caryl Thomas, Shona Powell-Hughes and Rebecca De Filippo also offer Edwards plenty of experience on the bench.

"Looking at the squad I feel there are some exciting combinations there,” said Edwards. "We have to make sure we start our Six Nations campaign well and start from a solid platform as it has taken us a couple of games to get going over the past few seasons.

"I have no qualms about putting the three new players in against Italy. They are in selected on merit. Laurie Harries has come through the Sevens programme and possesses a lot of pace, something which we have lacked in recent times.

"Robyn gives us an extra kicking option while she is also strong defensively while Jenny Hawkins is probably our standout second row in the squad at the moment. All three have played well at both club and regional level and deserve their chance,” he added.

With squad captain Rachel Taylor injured, prop Catrin Edwards will skipper a Wales side where No8 Catrina Nicholas will be playing her 50th international.

Wales Women team: 15 Dyddgu Hywel (Bristol Ladies), 14 Philippa Tuttiet (Bristol Ladies), 13 Elen Evans (Waterloo), 12 Robyn Wilkins (Llandaff North), 11 Laurie Harries (Llandaff North), 10 Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Ladies), 9 Amy Day (Llandaff North); 1 Megan York (Blaenau Gwent), 2 Lowri Harries (Neath Athletic), 3 Catrin Edwards – CAPT (Bristol Ladies), 4 Jenny Hawkins (Llandaff North), 5 Nia Davies (Cardiff Met), 6 Sian Williams (Worcester), 7 Sioned Harries (Llandaff North), 8 Catrina Nicholas (Llandaff North)

Substitutes: 16 Carys Phillips (Bristol Ladies), 17 Jenny Davies (Waterloo), 18 Caryl Thomas (Bath Ladies),

19 Delyth Davies (Cardiff Met), 20 Shona Powell Hughes (Neath Athletic), 21 Sian Moore (Bristol Ladies), 22 Rebecca De Filippo (Bristol Ladies), 23 Ffion Bowen (Maesteg Celtic)

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