Ioan Cunningham's side finish the championship in third place

Wales Women’s Six Nations Squad 2022

Wales lost 10-8 to Italy in their final match of the 2022 Women’s Six Nations but their results earlier in the tournament ensured they finished third in the championship table.

Two first-half yellow cards for Robyn Wilkins and Sioned Harries proved costly as Italy took a 7-0 lead into half-time thanks to a Sara Barattin try.

However, Wales came back in the second half, just as they did in their victories over Ireland and Scotland earlier in the campaign, and led 8-7 going into the final five minutes. Keira Bevan scored a try to add to Wilkins’s earlier penalty.

Michela Sillari then stepped up to slot a match-winning penalty for Italy in the final minute.

It was a disappointing end to the campaign for Wales but their earlier results, added to a losing bonus point against Italy, assured them of third place in the final standings.

Wales team to play Italy – Saturday 30 April

Niamh Terry; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Jasmine Joyce; Robyn Wilkins, Ffion Lewis; Cara Hope, Kelsey Jones, Donna Rose, Siwan Lillicrap, Gwen Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Sioned Harries.

Replacements: Carys Phillips, Caryl Thomas, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Bethan Lewis, Keira Bevan, Lleucu George, Kayleigh Powell.

Wales 5-33 France

Wales lost 33-5 to France in the fourth round of the Women’s Six Nations but they showed plenty of resolve and grit at Cardiff Arms Park.

The hosts barely escaped their own half in the opening 40 minutes as France wrapped up the bonus point before the break. Laure Sansus scored twice while Caroline Boujard and Chloe Jacquet also crossed.

In the second period, however, Wales enjoyed far more possession and territory – and limited France to just one more try, Jessy Tremouliere scoring.

They also showed plenty of determination and eventually got over the line themselves with the final play of the game, Sioned Harries stretching to the line following a close-range maul.

While it was still a heavy defeat, it was a vast improvement on their most recent encounters against France – they have conceded 50 points for the past three years. Wales should go into their final match against Italy confident of completing their campaign with a win.

Wales team to face France – Friday 22 April

Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Robyn Wilkins, Jasmine Joyce; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap.

Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Cara Hope, Donna Rose, Alex Callender, Sioned Harries, Ffion Lewis, Kerin Lake, Niamh Terry.

England 58-5 Wales

Playing the No 1 team in the world in front of a record crowd at Kingsholm proved something of a reality check for Wales in the Women’s Six Nations.

Ioan Cunningham’s side have produced come-from-behind victories in their previous two championship matches this year, but they lost 58-5 to the Red Roses in front of 14,689 people in Gloucester – the biggest attendance for a ticketed women’s Test in England.

Wales provided a sterner challenge than England have faced to date in this championship. They put pressure on the Red Roses lineout at times early on and their defence closed them down effectively, particularly in the first quarter.

Yet they offered very little in attack bar a couple of breaks from Kayleigh Powell and Jasmine Joyce. They spent only 30% of the first 40 minutes in England’s half and rarely broke into the 22.

They also had little answer to England’s rolling maul and the lack of distance to their kicking game meant even when they had penalty opportunities they weren’t able to clear their lines effectively.

Still, they did manage to get their own driving maul into gear in the final 15 minutes and Kelsey Jones touched down – particularly impressive given they were down to 14 players at the time after Natalia John had been sin-binned.

They have a two-week break now before facing another big test against France on a Friday night in Cardiff.

Wales team to face England – Saturday 9 April

Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Jasmine Joyce; Robyn Wilkins, Ffion Lewis; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Donna Rose, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Gwen Crabb, Siwan Lillicrap (captain), Alisha Butchers, Sioned Harries.

Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Cara Hope, Cerys Hale, Alex Callender, Bethan Lewis, Keira Bevan, Elinor Snowsill, Natalia John.

Wales 24-19 Scotland

A late try from Ffion Lewis and a huge defensive effort in the closing minutes saw Wales grind out a 24-19 victory in the Women’s Six Nations.

There was a record crowd for a standalone women’s Test in Wales watching with 4,875 in attendance at the Arms Park and they made their voices heard in the second half as the hosts looked to close out a narrow win – they only took the lead in the 75th minute.

Discipline was key to Wales’ opening win in Dublin but it let them down here. They conceded twice as many penalties as they did across the whole game against Ireland in the first 40 minutes against Scotland – ten to five.

That meant they spent the majority of the first half in their own half, those penalties allowing Scotland to dominate possession and territory. They trailed 14-7 at the break but could realistically have faced a larger deficit.

Carys Phillips made it two tries in two games as she crossed from close range midway through the half.

Kerin Lake was then sin-binned in the latter stages of the first half – a team card due to the build-up of infringements by the hosts – and Wales conceded another try soon after the break as Rhona Lloyd scored her second of the match.

Then came the comeback. Sioned Harries made an immediate impact, winning a penalty and scoring a try within four minutes of coming on to reduce Scotland’s lead.

Next they showed their power up front with a series of scrums 5m out from the Scottish line. Leah Bartlett was sent to the sin-bin and Wales made the numerical advantage tell as Kelsey Jones touched down from a driving maul.

The crucial score came in the 75th minute as Alisha Butchers broke through and passed to Lewis to run in the try.

There was still drama to come, though, as Siwan Lillicrap was penalised for a deliberate knock-on in the 22 – no yellow card, though – and Scotland piled on the pressure close to the line. However, Wales were able to hold them out for the win.

Wales are becoming known for their comeback wins but going into the England game next week they will recognise the need to start better.

Wales team to play Scotland – Saturday 2 April

Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Jasmine Joyce; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Siwan Lillicrap (captain).

Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Cara Hope, Donna Rose, Sioned Harries, Bethan Lewis, Ffion Lewis, Robyn Wilkins, Sisilla Tuipulotu.

Ireland 19-27 Wales

Wales produced an impressive second-half performance to win their first Women’s Six Nations match since 2019, beating Ireland 27-19 in Dublin.

Thumped 45-0 by the same opponents last year, it has been quite a turnaround in fortunes in 12 months – and 40 minutes!

Wales trailed 14-5 at half-time as Ireland looked the more dangerous side with their running game, but the visitors upped the intensity and physicality in the second half to come out on top.

The professional contracts given to 12 players at the start of the year (and semi-pro deals to another dozen) look to be having an impact already given the conditioning evident in this comeback victory.

They were still trailing 19-10 going into the final quarter but two close-range finishes from replacement prop Donna Rose put Wales ahead and Hannah Jones added a final flourish when breaking to score a fifth try late on.

Those last two tries came when Ireland were down to 14 after Eimear Considine was sin-binned as a result of a number of Ireland offences, but ultimately it was the power Wales showed up front that proved crucial.

Their driving maul played a part in their first four tries and a strong scrum helped set up Jones’s fifth.

Carys Phillips went over directly from a maul in the first half and Jasmine Joyce finished in the corner soon after the break after the ball was spread wide from a driving lineout.

Then Rose scored her brace, the first from a maul and the second a few phases after a decent lineout drive.

They will be hoping that power can deliver a second victory next weekend, against Scotland in Cardiff.

Wales team to play Ireland – Saturday 26 March

Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Jasmine Joyce; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Siwan Lillicrap (captain).

Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Cara Hope, Donna Rose, Sioned Harries, Bethan Lewis, Ffion Lewis, Robyn Wilkins, Sisilla Tuipulotu.

Wales Women’s Six Nations Squad

Ioan Cunningham has named a 37-player squad for the upcoming Women’s Six Nations and it is the team’s first with professional players.

Twelve full-time deals and 12 retainer contracts have been handed to players since the start of the year. It will be interesting to see if they will have an impact on the team’s performance when the tournament gets underway.

Six uncapped players have been named in Lowri Norkett, Liliana Podpadec, Jenni Scoble, Emma Hennessy, Emma Swords and Sisilia Tuipulotu, some of whom got to run out in the red shirt in against the USA Falcons last weekend.

Siwan Lillicrap will captain the side, with other experienced names including Jasmine Joyce, Lisa Neumann and Elinor Snowsill.

There are also some familiar faces returning to the squad. Kayleigh Powell and Kelsey Jones missed large parts of last year due to injury while Lleucu George and Sioned Harries could win their first caps since 2020 and 2019 respectively.

Cunningham said: “We are pleased with the strength in depth within the squad given the tough challenge that is the TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

“To start with Ireland away, Scotland at home and then the world champions England on their own turf over three consecutive weekend will certainly test us but also give us the chance to develop as individuals and as a group and we are relishing the challenge.”

Wales Women’s Six Nations Squad 2022

Backs

(DoB/Club/Position)

Keira Bevan (28 Apr 1997/Bristol Bears/Scrum-half)

Lleucu George (12 Jan 2000/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)

Emma Hennessy (Cheltenham Tigers/Wing)

Hannah Jones (14 Nov 1996/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)

Jasmine Joyce (9 Oct 1995/Bristol/Wing)

Courtney Keight (27 Dec 1997/Bristol/Centre)

Kerin Lake (24 May 1990/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)

Caitlin Lewis (16 Nov 1999/Exeter Chiefs/Wing)

Ffion Lewis (29 Jun 1996/Worcester/Scrum-half)

Lisa Neumann (23 Dec 1993/Gloucester/Wing)

Lowri Norkett (Pontyclun)

Kayleigh Powell (18 Feb 1999/Bristol/Fly-half)

Gemma Rowland (7 Feb 1989/Wasps/Centre)

Elinor Snowsill (27 Jun 1989/Bristol/Fly-half)

Emma Swords (22 Oct 1995/Harlequins/Scrum-half)

Niamh Terry (30 Apr 2000/Exeter/Fly-half)

Robyn Wilkins (4 Apr 1995/Gloucester-Hartpury/Centre)

Forwards

Alisha Butchers (14 Jun 1997/Bristol/Back-row)

Alex Callender (29 Jul 2000/Worcester/Back-row)

Gwen Crabb (28 Jun 1999/Gloucester-Hartpury/Lock)

Kat Evans (9 Jan 1986/Saracens/Hooker or Flanker)

Abbie Fleming (31 Mar 1996/Exeter/Back-row)

Cerys Hale (4 Apr 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)

Cara Hope (24 Nov 1993/Gloucester-Hartpury/Prop)

Sioned Harries (22 Nov 1989/Worcester/Back-row)

Natalia John (15 Feb 1996/Bristol/Lock)

Manon Johnes (17 Dec 2000/Bristol/Back-row)

Kelsey Jones (1 Sep 1997/Gloucester-Hartpury/Hooker)

Bethan Lewis (19 Feb 1999/Gloucester-Hartpury/Back-row)

Siwan Lillicrap (21 Sep 1987/Bristol/Back-row)

Liliana Podpadec (Llandaff North/Second-row)

Carys Phillips (12 Nov 1992/Worcester/Hooker)

Gwenllian Pyrs (28 Nov 1997/Sale/Prop)

Donna Rose (5 Jun 1991/Saracens/Prop)

Jenni Scoble (Llandaff North/Prop)

Caryl Thomas (19 Feb 1986/Worcester/Prop)

Sisilia Tuipulotu (Gloucester-Hartpury)

Wales Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2022

(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland times)

Round One

Sat 26 Mar, Ireland 19-27 Wales

Round Two

Sat 2 Apr, Wales 24-19 Scotland

Round Three

Sat 9 Apr, England 58-5 Wales

Round Four

Fri 22 Apr, Wales 5-33 France

Round Five

Sat 30 Apr, Wales 8-10 Italy

Don’t miss a game with this Women’s Six Nations TV coverage guide.

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