Carys Phillips is determined to make the most of her opportunity against South Africa.
Hooker Carys Phillips starts for Wales in the Women's Rugby World Cup for the first time this afternoon, and for just the second time in her career, when Rachel Taylor's side face South Africa at Marcoussis (KO 4pm UK).
Phillips, the daughter of Neath Director of Rugby, Rowland Phillips, has forced her way into the starting line-up after impressing as a replacement for incumbent hooker, Lowri Harries, against France and Australia.
A tyro in the loose, Phillips, has started just once before for Wales in her collection of 13 caps, and she is fully aware to keep the Number 2 shirt from Harries, she will have to play out of her skin. Harries has held a firm grip on the hooking berth over the past couple of seasons but she now has a genuine threat to her position.
"I wouldn't say I have knocked Lowri off her perch," said a modest Phillips. "Hopefully, if I work hard against South Africa I will get to start the next game as well. Lowri is a very good player herself and deserved the shirt and I can guarantee that when she comes on she will want the shirt back as well.
"I'm very excited to be starting and obviously a bit nervous because it is a massive stage to play on at the World Cup but hopefully I can take my opportunity now that it has come."
Both South Africa and Wales have yet to win a game in the World Cup with France and Australia leading the way in Pool C. Despite Wales being dominant at the set-piece, their efforts have proved in vain but Phillips is optimistic Wales can finally break their duck.
"From the last two games against France and Australia, the scoreboard hasn't reflected the way we have performed. Going into the South Africa game we have tweaked a few things so hopefully we will come away with a win."
Women's Rugby World Cup:
Wales Women v South Africa Women, Saturday 9 Aug, 4pm (UK), Marcoussis
15 Laurie Harries (Llandaff North)
14 Adi Taviner (Neath Athletic)
13 Robyn Wilkins (Llandaff North)
12 Rebecca de Filippo (Bristol Ladies)
11 Dyddgu Hywel (Bristol Ladies)
10 Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Ladies)
9 Sian Moore (Bristol Ladies);
8 Sioned Harries (Llandaff North)
7 Rachel Taylor (Bristol Ladies - Capt)
6 Catrina Nicholas (Llandaff North)
5 Shona Powell-Hughes (Neath Athletic)
4 Jenny Hawkins (Llandaff North)
3 Catrin Edwards (Bristol Ladies)
2 Carys Phillips (Bristol Ladies)
1 Meg York (Blaenau Gwent)
16 Lowri Harries (Neath Athletic)
17 Jenny Davies (Waterloo)
18 Cerys Hale (Pontyclun Falcons)
19 Sian Williams (Worcester)
20 Amy Day (Llandaff North)
21 Elli Norkett (Neath Athletic)
22 Rafiuke Taylor (Pontyclun Falcons)
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets