Wales Women team to play Hong Kong

Seven Ospreys have been named in the Wales Women team to play Hong Kong on Thursday, with six starting and one on the bench.

Seventeen-year-old forward Lleucu George will make her first international start for after collecting her first cap off the bench against New Zealand in the opening game of Pool A, starting on the blindside as part of nine changes to Wales' starting line-up from the one which faced Canada on Sunday.

Fullback Jodie Evans and inside centre Robyn Wilkins make their first starts of the tournament, while Jasmine Joyce and Keira Bevan return on the wing and at scrum-half respectively.

Two changes to the front row see loosehead Cerys Hale and tighthead Meg York pack down either side of captain Carys Phillips. Lock Siwan Lillicrap also makes her first start of the Women's Rugby World Cup; likewise Shona Powell-Hughes, who joins George in the back row at number eight.

"We've surpassed many people's expectations in terms of our performances against two of the world's best teams, but we're always looking to improve standards," said head coach Rowland Phillips. "We're not content with just putting up a fight. We're working towards winning big games.

"Our commitment and improvement was there for everyone to see against Canada. We pushed a very good team all the way, and we've got to take inspiration from that.

"The main thing now is to keep up that momentum in this competition, starting with Hong Kong. They will be out to prove a point against us, and we won't be taking them lightly."

Loosehead Gwenllian Pyrs could make her Wales debut from the bench in tomorrow's match, which will be streamed live on the S4C website (plus the S4C Chwaraeon Facebook page) and, for the first time in the tournament, will be televised live on ITV4.


Wales Women squad to face Hong Kong

15 Jodie Evans (Scarlets)

14 Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets)

13 Gemma Rowland (Dragons)

12 Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys)

11 Jess Kavanagh-Williams (RGC)

10 Elinor Snowsill (Dragons)

9 Keira Bevan (Ospreys)

1 Cerys Hale (Dragons)

2 Carys Phillips (c) (Ospreys)

3 Meg York (Dragons)

4 Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys)

5 Mel Clay (Ospreys)

6 Lleucu George (Scarlets)

7 Sioned Harries (Scarlets)

8 Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys)



16 Kelsey Jones (Ospreys)

17 Gwenllian Pyrs (RGC)

18 Caryl Thomas (Scarlets)

19 Rebecca Rowe (Blues)

20 Rachel Taylor (RGC)

21 Sian Moore (Dragons)

22 Elen Evans (RGC)

23 Dyddgu Hywel (Scarlets)