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 Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.