Wales announce Women's Six Nations squad as ex-England captain switches allegiance

Wales Women rugby players line up ahead of a Six Nations match - CREDIT PA IMAGES
Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham has named a 37-player squad for the 2024 Women’s Six Nations Credit: PA Images

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham has named a 37-player squad for the upcoming Women's Six Nations.

Hannah Jones retains the captaincy and seven uncapped players have been drafted in, including former England U20s captain Jenny Hesketh, who qualifies to play for Wales through her Welsh mother.

Wales kick off their campaign against Scotland at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday 23 March (4.45pm kick-off) and will end their campaign with a historic first standalone game at the Principality Stadium against Italy on Saturday, 27 April.

The bulk of the squad includes players who played in last year's Six Nations and achieved Wales Women's highest world ranking of sixth.

Experienced locks Natalia John and Gwen Crabb return to the squad after missing out on last autumn's inaugural global tournament WXV1 due to injury, while second-row Shona Wakley - who made her Wales debut in 2010 - makes a return to the Wales squad bidding to add to her 45 caps.

Cunningham's side, who first turned professional in 2022, have finished third in the table for the past two years, cementing themselves as the "best of the rest" behind traditional runaway leaders England and France.

Uncapped players Cath Richards, Molly Reardon, Jenni Scoble, Gwennan Hopkins, Mollie Wilkinson and Sian Jones will be hoping to make their Wales debuts.

Wales captain Hannah Jones leads the side Credit: PA

Wales boss Cunningham said: “This was the hardest squad to select since the game went professional in 2022 and there was plenty of debate within the coaching group around selection.

“This 2024 Six Nations campaign promises to be the biggest and toughest tournament so far but we are all excited to see the players named set new standards and take this team to new heights.

“We have named a squad full of proven experience at international rugby and a mix of exciting young talent we have seen emerge at club and Wales U20s level, especially through the new expanded Celtic Challenge tournament."

Wales Women's 2024 Six Nations squad:

Forwards: Gwenllian Pyrs, Abbey Constable, Carys Phillips, Kelsey Jones, Molly Reardon, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Donna Rose, Jenni Scoble, Abbie Fleming, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Bryonie King, Shona Wakley, Alisha Butchers, Georgia Evans, Alex Callender, Kate Williams, Bethan Lewis, Gwennan Hopkins

Backs: Jasmine Joyce, Nel Metcalfe, Jenny Hesketh, Courtney Keight, Kayleigh Powell, Cath Richards, Lisa Neumann, Amelia Tutt, Hannah Jones (captain), Kerin Lake, Hannah Bluck, Carys Cox, Lleucu George, Mollie Wilkinson, Niamh Terry, Keira Bevan, Sian Jones, Meg Davies.

Development players: Five players - Hanna Marshall, Seren Singleton, Maisie Davies, Cadi-Lois Davies and Alaw Pyrs – have been invited to train with the squad.

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