Wales face the daunting prospect of facing New Zealand in the Women's Rugby World Cup.
Jason Lewis is remaining upbeat on Wales's chances in next year's women's Rugby World Cup, despite being drawn in the same group as defending champions New Zealand.
The Welsh coach has also seen his side grouped with South Africa and Australia and will be fully aware New Zealand have never lost an international to any of the sides in the pool so will be firm favourites to qualify automatically from the group.
The Black Ferns are the undisputed queens of rugby, having dominated the women's game at the highest level for the last decade. They haven't lost a Test since 2001 and have won the last three World Cups in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Lewis saw first hand earlier this week just how good the Kiwis are when he saw them destroy England A 48-3 at Esher in a prelude to their second Test against England on Saturday.
"New Zealand deserve to be seeded one," he said referring to the World Cup. "There isn't any question about that as they've set the benchmark for a number of years.
"It's a tough group but my point of view is that you would expect every group to be tough in a World Cup. But as a group, if we have any ambitions of making it all the way to the final, then you have to play against the best, and beat them, to get there.
"We very rarely play against teams like New Zealand, South Africa or Australia so that is a huge bonus for us. We are under no illusions as to what lies ahead but the girls have accepted the challenge and are willing to tackle it head on."
Lewis has an early opportunity to run the rule over his squad when they take on Sweden in an international at the Vale Resort on November 28. The World Cup may not be until August 2010, but the Welsh coach is already thinking of the bigger picture by giving hooker Becky Newton, fly-half Elinor Snowsill and winger Caryl James their international bows while another newcomer, backrower Lisa Newton, starts from the bench.
Wales vs Sweden (28th November 09)
1. Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins)
2. Becky Newton (Cardiff Quins)
3. Hannah Roberts (UWIC)
4. Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun)
5. Claire Donovan (Saracens)
6. Rachel Taylor (Cardiff Quins)
7. Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins)
8. Mel Berry (capt) (Blaydon)
9. Amy Day (Bristol Ladies)
10. Elinor Snowsill (Loughborough)
11. Caryl James (Cardiff Quins)
12. Clare Flowers (Bristol Ladies)
13. Rachel Poolman (UWIC)
14. Lou Rickard (Woodbridge)
15. Non Evans (Cardiff Quins)
16. Jenny Davies (Waterloo)
17. Claire Horgan (Saracens)
18. Louise Horgan (Saracens)
19. Lisa Newton (UWIC)
20. Laura Prosser (Cardiff Quins)
21. Awen Thomas (Whitland)
22. Aimee Young (UWIC)
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.