Warren Abrahams is enduring a tough start to his first championship as his side lose their second match
Wales Women’s Six Nations Squad 2021
Wales will play in the Women’s Six Nations fifth-place play-off after suffering a second heavy defeat of the 2021 championship.
Having been beaten 53-0 by France in their opening match, they lost 45-0 to Ireland in Cardiff and have been condemned to bottom spot in Pool B.
They leaked four tries in just 18 minutes as Ireland not only dominated possession and territory in that opening quarter but were clinical with it.
Wales’ set-piece struggles from the France match continued in Cardiff as their lineout malfunctioned and they were often on the back foot at the scrum. They were also under pressure defensively, having to make more than twice as many tackles as Ireland – 142 to 61.
On top of that, they lost a lot of players to injury – three in that opening period – and had to play the last five minutes with 14 as captain Siwan Lillicrap was forced off with an ankle problem, which she had played on with for a significant period, and all the replacements had been used.
In terms of positives, as against the French, Wales’ second-half performance was better. They didn’t concede any more points until the 72nd minute and caused the Irish defence far more problems when they had possession. Still, they failed to score any points of their own for the second straight match.
Wales will now face the loser of next weekend’s Scotland v Italy Pool B match on finals day, Saturday 24 April.
Wales team to play Ireland – Saturday 10 April
Robyn Wilkins; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Courtney Keight; Elinor Snowsill, Jess Roberts; Cara Hope, Kelsey Jones, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Georgia Evans, Manon Johnes, Siwan Lillicrap.
Replacements: Molly Kelly, Caryl Thomas, Donna Rose, Teleri Wyn Jones, Beth Dainton, Megan Davies, Niamh Terry, Caitlin Lewis.
France 53-0 Wales
Warren Abrahams’s reign as Wales coach got off to a losing start as his charges were beaten 53-0 by France in their opening Women’s Six Nations match.
Wales had conceded three tries in 15 minutes as Caroline Boujard scored an early hat-trick and by the final whistle France had clocked up eight tries.
Yes, there were mitigating factors in that Wales hadn’t played for more than a year and they were missing a few players through injury, but they didn’t help themselves either with a high number of unforced errors.
Perhaps the most damning statistic is that Wales missed 36 tackles; they scrambled better in the second period but only after allowing France to gain easy ground.
The other major disappointment will be that they failed to score any points. Abrahams has spoken of the exciting, X-factor style of rugby he wants Wales to play but they didn’t come close to scoring a try. They had plenty of possession – 46% – but weren’t able to convert it into points as they couldn’t find a way through, round or over France’s blue wall in defence.
There were some bright spots – captain Siwan Lillicrap carried hard and was one of the few Welsh players to make significant yards, fellow back-row Manon Johnes won a couple of penalties at the breakdown, Hannah Jones impressed with her cover defence and Jasmine Joyce produced that rare sight of a charged down conversion – but significant improvements will be needed if they are to beat Ireland next weekend.
Wales team to face France – Saturday 3 April
Robyn Wilkins; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Jasmine Joyce; Elinor Snowsill, Jess Roberts; Caryl Thomas, Kelsey Jones, Donna Rose, Gwen Crabb, Teleri Wyn Jones, Georgia Evans, Manon Johnes, Siwan Lillicrap.
Replacements: Robyn Lock, Cara Hope, Cerys Hale, Bethan Dainton, Natalia John, Megan Davies, Gemma Rowland, Courtney Knight.
Wales Women Six Nations squad 2021
Warren Abrahams has selected a 32-player Wales squad for the Women’s Six Nations.
It’s more than a year since Wales played a Test – their most recent fixture against England in the 2020 championship last March – and Abrahams said: “We are all so excited to get on the pitch and represent the jersey.”
Wasps fly-half Flo Williams, Saracens prop Donna Rose and Sale Sharks scrum-half Jess Roberts will all be looking to make their Wales debuts during the championship.
Another uncapped player, Megan Davies, was a late call-up to the squad after experienced scrum-half Keira Bevan was ruled out with a leg injury, having only recently returned from a long spell on the sidelines. Alisha Butchers, Lleucu George, Beth Lewis, Carys Phillips and Kayleigh Powell are also injured.
Sale Sharks second-row Teleri Wyn Davies is in line for her first cap in three years while three players are training with the squad in a development capacity – Madi Johns, Beth Huntley and Sisilia Tuipulotu.
Wales travel to France for their opening pool game before hosting Ireland. Then they will play against the team ranked in the equivalent position in Pool A, one of England, Italy or Scotland.
Wales Women’s Six Nations Squad 2021
Megan Davies (19 Jan 2002/Exeter/Scrum-half)
Hannah Jones (14 Nov 1996/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)
Jasmine Joyce (9 Oct 1995/Bristol/Wing)
Courtney Keight (27 Dec 1997/Bristol/Centre)
Jade Knight (16 Feb 1989/Saracens/Scrum-half)
Kerin Lake (24 May 1990/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)
Caitlin Lewis (16 Nov 1999/Scarlets/Wing)
Lisa Neumann (23 Dec 1993/Sale/Wing)
Jess Roberts (10 May 1994/Sale/Scrum-half)
Gemma Rowland (7 Feb 1989/Bristol/Centre)
Elinor Snowsill (27 Jun 1989/Bristol/Fly-half)
Niamh Terry (30 Apr 2000/Exeter/Fly-half)
Megan Webb (9 Jan 2001/Pontyclun/Centre)
Robyn Wilkins (4 Apr 1995/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)
Flo Williams (27 Oct 11994/Wasps/Fly-half)
Gwen Crabb (28 Jun 1999/Gloucester-Hartpury/Lock)
Bethan Dainton (12 Apr 1989/Harlequins/Back-row)
Georgia Evans (29 Jan 1997/Saracens/Lock)
Abbie Fleming (31 Mar 1996/Exeter/Back-row)
Cerys Hale (4 Apr 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)
Cara Hope (24 Nov 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)
Gwenllian Jenkins (20 Nov 2000/Lampeter/Prop)
Natalia John (15 Feb 1996/Bristol/Lock)
Manon Johnes (17 Dec 2000/Cardiff Blues/Back-row)
Kelsey Jones (1 Sep 1997/Gloucester-Hartpury/Hooker)
Molly Kelly (28 Sep 2000/RGC/Hooker)
Siwan Lillicrap (21 Sep 1987/Bristol/Back-row)
Robyn Lock (22 Feb 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Hooker)
Shona Powell-Hughes (8 Jul 1991/Gloucester-Hartpury/Back-row)
Donna Rose (5 Jun 1991/Saracens/Prop)
Caryl Thomas (19 Feb 1986/Worcester/Prop)
Teleri Wyn-Davies (15 May 1997/Sale/Lock)
MORE ON THE WOMEN’S SIX NATIONS
All you need to know about the countries…
This year’s championship will take place in April…
Wales Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2021
(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland times)
Sat 3 April, France v Wales (8pm, Stade de la Rabine, Vannes) Live on BBC iPlayer/RTE Player
Sat 10 April, Wales v Ireland (5pm, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff) Live on BBC Wales/RTE2
Sat 24 April, Wales v Pool A team ranked in same position (tbc) Live on BBC iPlayer/RTE Player
Don’t miss a game with this Women’s Six Nations TV coverage guide.
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