Rugby has been something of a waiting game for the back-rower

Who is Siwan Lillicrap: Ten things you should know about the Wales No 8

Wales back-rower Siwan Lillicrap is known for her ball-carrying skills and inspirational leadership.

Ten things you should know about Siwan Lillicrap

1. Siwan Lillicrap was born on 27 September 1987 in Swansea, Wales. She stands at 5ft 7in (1.7m) and weighs 13st 3lb (84kg).

2. She joined Allianz Premier 15s club Bristol Bears in 2020 having previously played for Neath, Swansea and the Ospreys.

3. Lillicrap grew up spending every weekend at Waunarlwydd RFC, a village club where her dad coached and brother played, but with no girls’ set-up at the club or in the local area, she had to wait to turn 17 to join the women’s side.

“I grew up with rugby and always knew I wanted to play,” she told Rugby World in 2020. “I felt like I had a good understanding and knowledge because of my family and having watched a lot of rugby. A week after my 17th birthday I went to my first training session and I loved it.”

4. She won her first cap for Wales aged 28 in 2016 when coming off the bench against Ireland in the Six Nations – making her Test debut after more than four years in and around the national squad. “I had three or four years of being on an emotional roller coaster,” she reflects.

5. Lillicrap was one of the first Wales Women’s players to receive a professional contract in 2022. She left her role as head of rugby at Swansea University and broke down in tears when speaking to the press about the achievement.

She said: “I fought for so long to even get my first Welsh cap and to be in this privileged position now, and with the strides the game has taken, is massive.”

6. She began playing as a centre and then at fly-half while at university. Lillicrap switched to the back row at Neath, saying: “Definitely the right decision – I don’t have the pace to be a back!”

7. She was first named Wales captain in 2019 and has been praised for her leadership.

8. Lillicrap studied sports science at Swansea University and graduated in 2009.

9. She can speak fluent Welsh.

10. Lillicrap is in a relationship with her Wales team-mate Cara Hope.

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