Wales Women are looking to achieve the second of their pre-Six Nations objectives when they tackle Ireland at Taffs Well on Saturday (Kick-off 1pm).
Coach Jason Lewis has already ticked off qualification for next year's World Cup after victories over Scotland, England and Italy and now Wales are hoping to finish in the top two of this year's tournament. If Wales beat the rapidly improving Ireland side, they will also claim the triple crown for the very first time.
"When you look at the Six Nations, every alternative year we play three games away from home and we've never managed to finish in the top two on that rotation," explained Lewis. "So we are keen to finish in the top two this season and cement the good work the players have already put in."
Ireland are currently in runners-up spot behind England in the table thanks to a superior points difference compared to Wales which is a position which reflects their recent progression.
"Ireland are a good side. They are improving year on year and have been talking themselves up. They are aiming for their best ever finish and they are playing some good rugby so they represent a tough prospect," added Lewis.
Lewis is also hoping the fans turn out in large numbers to support the team, as he's already witnessed first hand what sort of boost a big crowd offers.
"It's great for the girls to play in front of a large crowd - we had a decent crowd when we won against England and when we played in front of 3000 in France it certainly lifted the home side so it would be great if the girls played in front of a big crowd on Saturday."
Lewis says he is pleased with the progress his side has made during the campaign as he looks ahead to next year's World Cup with optimism.
"We're generally pleased with the performances this season although the French game sticks in the mind (a 27-5 defeat) and we definitely see that as a missed opportunity as we simply didn't turn up. When you see the result between the French and England (a 52-7 victory for the latter), it re-enforces the view that we let that slip away from us. Although we've been a little bit fragile at times, we have definitely matured as a team and it all bodes well looking ahead to the future."
Wales Women v Ireland (Taffs Well, Saturday, 1pm)
15 Naomi Thomas (Bristol Ladies)
14 Non Evans (Cardiff Quins)
13 Clare Flowers (Bristol Ladies)
12 Rachel Poolman (UWIC)
11 Louise Rickard (Woodbridge)
10 Awen Thomas (Cardiff Quins)
9 Laura Prosser (Pontyclun)
1 Hannah Roberts (UWIC)
2 Rhian Bowden (UWIC)
3 Jenny Davies (Waterloo)
4 Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun)
5 Rachel Taylor (Cardiff Quins)
6 Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins)
8 Mellissa Berry (Bristol Ladies)
7 Jamie Kift (Bristol Ladies)
16 Claire Horgan (Saracens)
17 Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins)
18 Louise Horgan (Saracens)
19 Claire Donovan (Saracens)
20 Amy Day (UWIC)
21 Ali Wright (Loughborough/ Lichfield)
22 Aimee Young (UWIC)
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
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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
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