Last season's, WRU regional women champions, the Ospreys women will kick off their season at St Helen’s on Sunday in a Super 5 competition.
Wales Women head coach Rowland Phillips will use the Women’s Regional Championship as a six week trial ahead of Wales squad selection.
He believes the Championship will be the most competitive women’s regional championship to date and will exclusively select his Wales squad from the five regional squads in action over the next six weekends.
The streamlined Women’s Regional Championship will be launched with a ‘Super 5s’ event at St Helen’s on Sunday (10 – 5.30) where all five regions will play each other in a series of high-paced, shortened matches.
The competition follows an intense pre-season conditioning and skills programme led by Rowland and his Wales coaching and conditioning teams.
Phillips said, “The pre-season programme has raised fitness and skill levels to give all players the best opportunity to show what they can do in a match situation and compete for places in the Wales squad for the autumn and Women’s Six Nations. We are not looking for one-off performances but will gauge consistency over the six week playing block. Our aim is to be as competitive as possible at international level and I’m confident this summer’s programme and the competitive phase will help us to achieve that.
“The pre-season programme required a high level of commitment from the girls, and the seasoned internationals among the squads showed excellent leadership qualities in driving a professional attitude to the training environment on and off the field. There are also a raft of new players who have shown they have the potential to play international rugby so it’s certainly been a positive exercise.
“The programme has not only benefitted players. There is a female coach in each regional coaching team - Siwan Lillicrap is leading the Ospreys programme. They, along with all their male regional colleagues have gained a huge amount of hands on experience from taking ownership of their squads' development from the start to finish of the the programme, with support from national staff.”
Tickets for Sunday's Super 5s, along with the five regional rounds are £3 for adults with free entry for u16s.
Women's Regional Championship fixtures – Ospreys Women
Round 1 – Bye
Round 2 - Sunday 23 September, CSE Ystrad Mynach
12.30 Dragons v Ospreys
Round 3 - Sunday 30 September, St Helen’s
12.30 Ospreys v Scarlets
Round 4 - Sunday 7 October St Helen’s
2:30 - Ospreys v Cardiff Blues
Round 5 - Sunday 14 October, Parc y Scarlets
14.30 RGC v Ospreys