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)
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.