Wales women's head coach Jason Lewis with Mellissa Berry (captain) and Gemma Hallett.
Wales Women head coach Jason Lewis has named an experienced 26-strong squad for the forthcoming Women's Six Nations.
Wales Women have twice finished second in the table in the past three seasons and Lewis believes the 2009 squad has every chance of reproducing that kind of form this season.
Another top two finish would guarantee an early qualification spot for Wales for the next Women's Rugby World Cup which takes place in England in 2010.
Mellissa Berry has retained the captaincy of the side and is set to earn her 70th cap, 50th as captain when Wales travel to Meggatland to play Scotland on February 8.
Berry, at 69 caps, is one of six squad players with over 50 caps to their name - fellow forwards Claire Donovan (66) and Jamie Kift (64) join backs Clare Flowers (58), Non Evans (71) and most capped Wales Women international Louise Rickard (103).
Only one uncapped player is named in the squad - Ali Wright (Loughborough Uni and Lichfield) but there are other notable returns to the set-up.
Centre Rachel Poolman returns after missing the European Championships through fracturing her foot in the 3-0 victory over France last March, Cardiff Quins prop Catrin Edwards has regained impressive form after taking a break from international rugby and returns to bolster the front row, while there are also returns from injury for scrum half Kerry Jenkins (Cardiff Quins) and lock/ back row Hannah Torangi (UWIC).
Jason Lewis said, "This is an important Championship for us with world cup qualification at stake. With all selected players fit and available, I feel we have got more strength in depth in the squad than we've seen in recent years.
"We have just finished a three day training camp and we have a friendly against the Nomads at London Wasps Amateur on Saturday (January 10) which will give us a stern test as we to step up our Six Nations preparations.
"It's a testament to Mel Berry that she is set to play her 50th game as captain against Scotland. She fully deserves to be recognised for this honour and has led from the front throughout her captaincy."
Wales Women Six Nations squad:
Jennifer Davies (Waterloo), Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins), Hannah Roberts (UWIC), Claire Horgan (Saracens), Rhian Bowden (UWIC), Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun), Louise Horgan (Saracens), Claire Donovan (Saracens), Rachel Taylor (Cardiff Quins), Mellissa Berry (Bristol Ladies), Jamie Kift (Bristol Ladies), Carys John (UWIC), Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins) Hannah Torangi (UWIC)
Kerry Jenkins (Cardiff Quins), Amy Day (UWIC), Laura Prosser (Pontyclun), Awen Thomas (Cardiff Quins), Naomi Thomas (Bristol Ladies), Clare Flowers (Bristol Ladies), Rachel Poolman (UWIC), Aimee Young (UWIC), Louise Rickard (Woodbridge Amazons), Heledd Stephens (UWIC), Non Evans (Bristol Ladies), Ali Wright (Lichfield/ Loughborough University)
Wales Women fixtures
Nomads v Wales Women XV, Sat 10 Jan, 2pm, London Wasps Amateur, Acton
Women's Six Nations
Scotland v Wales Sunday 8 February 12 noon Meggatland
Wales v England Saturday 14 February 1pm Taffs Well
France v Wales Saturday 28 February 3pm Montauban
Italy v Wales Sunday 15 March 2.30pm, Mira (Riviera del Brenta)
Wales v Ireland Saturday 21 March 1pm Taffs Well
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.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.