Wales Women Tune Up For New Zealand With Emphatic Win

It was a weekend of rest for the Wales men’s team – but a hard-earned reward for Wales Women.

Warren Gatland’s squad spent their time conserving energy ahead of their final Pool C match at the Rugby World Cup, against Georgia on Saturday.


But Ioan Cunningham’s players were out on the pitch, busy hammering the USA, 38-18, in Colwyn Bay.

As preparation for the upcoming inaugural WXV1 tournament to be held in New Zealand this autumn, it was pretty impressive stuff and certainly met with the approval of head coach Cunningham.

“Territory was really important for us, and we dominated there. I thought our forwards were excellent and I am just pleased we won today as we build toward WXV,” he said.

“We had to be patient and I was pleased we stayed in their 22 and stuck at it. We were camped there and finally got a score and then another score, so the patience in our game was pleasing.”

A delighted Wales captain, Hannah Jones, was happy enough with the display, especially as it was delivered in spite of difficult conditions, with wind and driving rain.

“We didn’t think about the conditions, but the pack offered the backs a great platform to play on,” said Jones.

“The pack has been outstanding from the Six Nations onwards, incredible performances by players like Alex Callender leading by example.

“Tempo has been the main thing – confidence and patience in the red zone. To finish on a try is brilliant. That has given us the confidence for the WXV that we can go out there and perform.”

New caps Carys Cox and Nel Metcalfe have been included in Wales’ squad of 30 players for the WXV1 tournament.


Gatland has now named his team for the match against Georgia, where Wales require only a point in Nantes to guarantee finishing top of Pool C.

Dewi Lake will captain the side at hooker and starts his second match of the tournament, while fellow joint-skipper Jac Morgan takes a break.

Tommy Reffel replaces Morgan at openside flanker, Gareth Anscombe stays at No.10 after replacing Dan Biggar early on against Australia, and Rio Dyer comes on to the wing in place of Josh Adams.

In all, there are six changes to the side that beat Australia with Dyer, Tomos Williams, Dafydd Jenkins and Reffell all starting.

Wales are set to meet either Argentina or Japan in the quarter-final, with those countries preparing for an eliminator 24 hours after Wales play.

Dragons wing Dyer said: “Every game won’t be perfect, but there are things we can get better at. It is about not letting the foot off the gas and see how far we can push ourselves.

“Let the result take care of itself, because I am more than sure if we put the effort in during the week and take the learnings, we will get even better and hopefully top the group.

“The training we have been putting in is amazing. The competitiveness of the sessions has been phenomenal.

“No-one is sulking or moping about. We are a 33-man squad trying to get the same result, and everyone is helping everyone.”


Cardiff beat the Scarlets, 21-12, in a pre-season friendly at the Arms Park, where home wing Theo Cabango scored two tries.

It was a first match as head coach for Cardiff’s Matt Sherratt, who said: “There were some really good efforts. We showed a little bit of the work we’ve been doing in pre-season in terms of our attack, and I thought in the first-half our set piece and defence was very good. Overall, the game served a really good purpose for us.”