Women's Rugby World Cup 2002: May 12th-26th Barcelona
19 April 2002 10:15
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.
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series