PONTYPOOL’s Megan York is relishing the chance to have another crack at New Zealand when Wales attempt to cause an upset in the Women’s World Cup opener next week.

The 30-year-old Dragons tighthead has been named in Rowland Phillips’ 28-strong squad for the tournament in Ireland, which gets under way in Dublin on Wednesday.

York, who plays her club rugby for Ynysddu, will be playing in her second World Cup after featuring in France three years ago.

That tournament saw Wales go up against the Black Ferns in the play-offs for fifth place, although York only lasted 20 minutes after suffering a concussion.

A blow to the head didn’t stop the Kiwis leaving an impression on the prop in a comprehensive 63-7 win.

“I remember that they were very physical and very skilful,” said 25-times capped York, who made her Test debut against Scotland in 2012.

“I’d imagine that they have improved in the three years since, because the game has changed so much from my first cap to now.

“It is so much more fast-paced and there are a lot more demands on your fitness and conditioning. Girls have got a lot stronger and it’s so much more physically-demanding.

“That’s why we have been working so hard on our strength and conditioning with our coach James Nolan.”

Wales will need to be at the peak of their powers after being drawn in a daunting pool that pits them against New Zealand, second in the world behind England, and third-ranked Canada along with Hong Kong.

It promises to be a busy summer for York, who starts a new job in Croesyceiliog a week after the end of the tournament after recently graduating as a teacher.

And she is thrilled to have such a hectic schedule after recovering from a knee injury that meant she sat out the entire Six Nations campaign, the Ospreys’ Amy Evans and Scarlets Gwenllian Pyrs sharing the duties on the right-hand side of the scrum.

“I’ve got really good memories of the last World Cup and I’ve got the same excitement and desire to perform,” said York.

“We fly to Ireland on Saturday and after all the build-up it will be good to get out there and prepare well by training full-time.

“It’s a tough group but we are all really keen to prove ourselves after working so hard to get in the squad.”

York is joined in the squad by six other Dragons – loosehead Cerys Hale, lock Rebecca Rowe, scrum-half Sian Moore, fly-half Elinor Snowsill and centres Gemma Rowland and Rebecca De Filippo.

Wales kick off against New Zealand on Wednesday, August 9 (2.45pm, Dublin) before taking on the Canadians on Sunday, August 13 (5pm, Dublin) and Hong Kong on Thursday, August 17 (5.15pm, Dublin).

The action then moves to Belfast with the semi-finals and first play-offs for placings on Tuesday, August 22 and the final day on Saturday, August 26, the showpiece event at Ulster’s Ravenhill home.