Wales Women head coach Rowland Phillips has selected six young Ospreys in his 34-woman squad that will play England U18 Talent Development Group.
The Wales Women Emerging Squad take on their English opponents on Tuesday 30th April as part of the Road to Principality series, K.O 6pm.
The squad includes Wales internationals Manon Johnes and Ospreys fullback Lauren Smyth. Six Nations squad members Molly Kelly and Caitlin Lewis are also included, but all of the playing squad will be eligible for Under 18 rugby and other than those involved with Wales, all have come through this season’s U18 Regional training and playing programme.
Ospreys Niamh Terry and Anwen Owen join regional teammate Smyth in the backs. Ospreys U18s Women’s captain Melissa Gnojek links up with fellow teammates Jaya White and Jade Thomas in the forwards to complete the Ospreys contingent in the squad.
Phillips has added Wales No 8 Sioned Harries and Dragons Ladies coach Jamie Solace to his coaching team of Gareth Wyatt and Hugh Gustafson for this period and is looking to continue to identify and develop female talent for the future.
“Everything we do involves planning for the future and developing players for international rugby,” said Phillips.
“Manon (Johnes), Alex (Callender) and Lauren (Smyth) were involved in this programme this time last year, Manon and Alex playing and Lauren missing out on the game through injury. All three have gone on to shine for Wales this season.
“Caitlyn (Lewis) and Molly (Kelly) were part of our Six Nations squad and Caitlin, Celyn Lazenby, Ellie Morgan and Megan Webb have been involved with the Wales Women Sevens programme so these next few weeks will enable us to keep working with this group of players.
“We will be looking to see if any of these players can step up and be part of our Wales squad as we build towards the 2021 Rugby World Cup – and looking further ahead I’m sure many of them will be involved when it comes to the 2025 competition.
“There is plenty of female talent in Wales, we saw that with the U18 programme which helped prepare the players for a higher intensity of training and playing.
“It will be another step up for them to play an England squad at Principality Stadium and that can only be a good thing.”
Wales Women Emerging squad v England U18 Talent Development Group (Tuesday 30 April, 6pm, Principality Stadium – free entry for all as part of Road to Principality Series):
Mali Jones (RGC)