Wales Women have selected their side to face the first Women’s Crawshay’s team on Saturday (Ebbw Vale, 2.30pm) with coach Chris Horsman insisting the five-match Autumn Series is starting to bear fruit. The Crawshay’s will announce their starting line up tomorrow.
There has been significant progress on the field each weekend in terms of performances and results, most recently last Sunday’s 17-3 win over Scotland in Glasgow.
Horsman is pleased with the performance gains and believes there is a lot more to come from the young squad.
“The onus is very much on us this autumn. We have set high standards for ourselves as players, coaches and support staff and it is great to see the improvements being made by the girls.
“What enthuses me most about working with this group of players is their thirst to learn and that’s all you can ask as a coach.
“It’s clear to see improvements across the board week on week and the matches are a reflection of that. To go from conceding four tries against Spain, to two against Ireland and none against Scotland is pleasing – we kept Scotland out of our 22 for almost the entire game but it’s not about reaching a level and stopping, we need to constantly improve.
“We are very much focussing on ‘us’ at the moment and it was great to see a growing cohesion and togetherness in the performance against Scotland on Sunday.
“Our ambition for this campaign is to develop strength in depth, improve fitness and grow together as a team. We believe that will help us to close the gap between us and the best teams in the world.”
WRU Performance Director Ryan Jones added:
“Now that the international women’s programme is part of the performance department, there is a different way of working, and there is a greater sharing of resources, knowledge and support for the women’s performance programme in all areas including coaching, conditioning, sport science, nutrition, analysis as well as additional psychological and medical advice and that’s good for the women’s game – and vice versa. Expectations are also higher which is helping to increase standards and competition within the squad.”
More than 150 female pupils from local schools have been invited to watch Crawshay’s Women train and take part in a WRU rugby skills day at Eugene Cross Park today ahead of Saturday’s match.
Entry for Wales Women v Crawshay’s has been confirmed as £10 for adults (seating and standing), £7 for Concessions (OAP and students) and free for U16s
Wales Women v Crawshay’s (Saturday 23 November, 2.30pm, Eugene Cross Park).
Paige Randall (Cardiff Blues); Lisa Neumann (RGC), Courtney Keight (Ospreys), Kayleigh Powell (Ospreys), Caitlin Lewis (Scarlets); Robyn Wilkins (Cardiff Blues), Keira Bevan (Ospreys); Gwenllian Pyrs (RGC), Molly Kelly (RGC), Cerys Hale (Cardiff Blues), Natalia John (Ospreys), Abbie Fleming (Cardiff Blues), Georgia Evans (Cardiff Blues), Robyn Lock (Ospreys), Siwan Lillicrap (capt, Ospreys)
Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Gwenllian Jenkins (Scarlets), Sarah Lawrence (Scarlets), Bethan Lewis (Scarlets), Gwen Crabb (Ospreys), Ffion Lewis (Scarlets), Lauren Smyth (Ospreys), Angharad de Smet (Scarlets)