Following the Autumn Internationals against Canada and the USA, the side includes a number of experienced players as well as some new faces who impressed the selectors in both the Super Cup and, more recently, in the Autumn Internationals.
The progress made by the Welsh side was apparent during the games against Canada and the USA who are ranked 3rd and 4th in the world respectively. Wales narrowly lost by one point in the first test against Canada and drew the second 13-13 at Caerphilly. The USA game saw Wales take an early lead. However, Wales did not capitalise on their opportunities and the game ended in a 20-17 victory to the USA.
Despite the narrow defeats, Wales will be hoping for an impressive performance in the Home Nations competition, and then to carry on the success to the World Cup in Barcelona in May.
The squad has suffered a late blow with Captain Rhian Williams breaking her leg in a club game last weekend. Williams will miss the entire Six Nations campaign and is in serious doubt for the World Cup that kicks off on May 13th.
The Wales 'A' squad was also announced. They begin their season on February 16th at South Wales Police against England A. This will also be the first game for newly appointed Coach, Phill John.
The squad contains 28 players at present, the majority of which currently play club rugby in Wales, which a good indicator that the Welsh Women's senior club level and the Super Cup are both growing in strength.
Director of Rugby Richard Hodges said: " The players in the national squad are in pole position to take us through to the World Cup. The players in the A team know that they can still force their way in to the 25 to go to Spain and when we suffer injuries like we have done to our captain Rhian Williams, strength in depth becomes an important ingredient and we are beginning to get this in Wales."
WALES (from): Dawn Mason, Amy Broadstock, Jamie Kift, Jackie Morgan, Kath Lenaghan, Catrin Edwards, Clare Donovan, Sue Grainger, Liza Burgess, Melissa Berry, April Dent, Kylie Wilson, Angharad Phillips, Cath Walkley, Ronnie Owens, Kerry Jenkins, Naomi Thomas, Awen Thomas, Karen Mayze, Sue Jones, Louise Rickard, Claire Flowers, Rhian Wilmott, Pip Minto
WALES 'A' (from): Kate Jones, Lucy Pike, Cath Foale, Lowena Sandercock, Hayley Baxter, Sian Newall, Julia Newton, Helen Edwards, Jenny Davies, Eleanor Purnell, Sian Thomas, Nicola John,, Amy Burnett, Kate Wilmott, Saskia Blair, Jane Ford, Esther Eckley, Gemma Allen, Manon Haf, Amy Price, Heidi Troxler, Lowri Jones, Marie O'Neill, Emma Liddle, Becky Stroud, Lucy Berry, Jayne Berry, Nicola Evans
SIX NATIONS FIXTURES: 2 FEB Ireland V Wales Limerick
15 FEB Wales V France Bridgend
3 MARCH Spain v Wales Madrid
24 MARCH England V Wales Twickenham
7 APRIL Wales v Scotland Llanelli
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.