Women's Rugby World Cup 2002: May 12th-26th Barcelona
19 April 2002 10:15am
Led by the youngest captain in the competition, 20-year-old Melissa Berry, Wales face Australia in their opening match at the Santboiana Stadium on May 13th.
The squad has a good mix of youth and experience. The former comes in the shape of UWIC's Hayley Baxter, Naomi Thomas and Kerry Jenkins with the likes of the world's most capped player Liza Burgess and Louise Rickard providing the experience.
As always there is a player who makes a late run for the squad and this has come in the shape of Sam Mason. The 19-year-old UWIC prop has impressed with the Wales U19 squad enough to book her ticket to Spain where she will look to put pressure on fellow front rowers Dawn Mason and Catrin Edwards.
Hooker Jamie Kift has recovered from a knee ligament injury to take her place in the squad following two months out and with eight fellow Clifton team mates including Jackie Morgan, April Dent, Pip Minto and Clare Flowers in the squad, the new English cup holders will have a strong representation in Barcelona.
Coach Williams has chosen three scrum halves in the shape of Jenkins, Walkley and Owens and with all three having started a Six Nations game they will be looking to impress in training in order to get that number nine shirt in the opening match against Australia.
With the opening match involving the 8th and 9th ranked teams, Wales must win in order to progress in to the latter stages. If successful, they are likely to face New Zealand in the second round on Friday May 17th.
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference