'INSPIRATIONAL' lock Natalia John returns to the Wales side for their Women’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (kick-off 4.45pm).

The forward is named in the XV for the opener in the capital after missing out on last autumn’s WXV1 tournament in New Zealand through injury.

She is joined in the side by uncapped full-back Jenny Hesketh, a former captain of England Under-20s, while scrum-half Sian Jones is set for an international debut off the bench.

Hannah Jones captains the side from centre with flanker Alex Callender her deputy.

Head coach Ioan Cunningham said Wales’ options ensured plenty of headaches ahead of the clash with the Scots.

He said: “There was much debate around this selection and that demonstrates the strength in depth we are now building in the squad.

“The players have been working really hard and pushing each other since we have been in camp, and we are looking forward to the challenge of Scotland in Cardiff.

“Test matches against Scotland have traditionally been close and tight affairs and we are expecting the same on Saturday.

“Jenny Hesketh has impressed on and off they field, since she joined up with us and fully deserves to make her Wales debut.

“Sian Jones was one of the standout players in the Celtic Challenge and we know how much she is looking forward to pulling on the red jersey and representing her country.

“It’s great to see Natalia John back and all of us know how hard she has worked to get back in the side after being sidelined since the last Six Nations campaign. Her resilience has been an inspiration to all of the squad, coaches and staff.

“The support of the Welsh public proved key when we are at the Arms Park during last season’s campaign and all the players are excited to be back in the Welsh capital.”

Wales: Jenny Hesketh; Jasmine Joyce, Hannah Jones (captain), Kerin Lake, Nel Metcalfe, Lleucu George, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Natalia John, Abbie Fleming, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender (vice-captain), Bethan Lewis.

Replacements: Carys Phillips, Abbey Constable, Donna Rose, Georgia Evans, Kate Williams, Sian Jones, Niamh Terry, Carys Cox.