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.
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Wales U20's Billy McBryde is looking forward to starting his first game against New Zealand this afternoon in the World Rugby U20 Championship where his side are looking to gain revenge from last week's pool defeat to the Kiwis.