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Wales Women announce team for quarter-final against the Black Ferns

By Lucy Lomax
Wales sing the national anthem during the Pool A Rugby World Cup 2021 New Zealand match match between Wales and Scotland at Northland Events Centre on October 09, 2022, in Whangarei, New Zealand.

Wales Women head coach Ioan Cunningham has made four changes and one positional switch for the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand in Whangarei on Saturday.

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In the backs, Keira Bevan and Lowri Norkett are handed their first starts of the tournament at scrum-half and on the right wing respectively, with Jasmine Joyce moving to full-back. Up front, Donna Rose and Carys Phillips return to the front row to take their place alongside Cara Hope who has started every game.

Hannah Jones retains the captaincy of the side, while Lleucu George and Gwenllian Pyrs are set to make their first appearances of the competition from the bench.

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Cunningham said, “It’s a hugely exciting week for us all, the girls have done extremely well to get to this point and we should all be proud of that. We have a tough task on Saturday facing the Black Ferns on their home patch. They are in good form, scoring a lot of points and playing well.

“However, we have nothing to lose, we intend to go out and leave everything on the field.

“We had some set piece dominance in our Pool game against them but we also created quite a few chances, many of which we didn’t convert.

“New Zealand have got good athletes across the park, they keep the ball in hand so we’ve selected a back three who can cover a lot of ground and maintain a high level of physicality with Jaz at full-back and Lisa and Lowri on the wings.

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“Keira has made a positive impact coming off the bench so deserves to start at scrum-half while Ffion has a different role this week. Lleucu’s attitude has been excellent and she deserves to get a chance. She’s got a good passing game too.

“It’s good to see Gwenllian Pyrs in the matchday 23 too having returned to fitness and form in time for the quarter-final.

“We will be playing in front of a huge home crowd and we will need to feed off the atmosphere. To play New Zealand twice in a world cup is 100% the experience you want to grow as a team – it’s only going to raise our standards short term but also longer term too.”

Wales team v New Zealand:
15 Jasmine Joyce
14 Lowri Norkett
13 Carys Williams-Morris
12 Hannah Jones (capt)
11 Lisa Neumann
10 Elinor Snowsill
9 Keira Bevan
1 Cara Hope
2 Carys Phillips
3 Donna Rose
4 Natalia John
5 Gwen Crabb
6 Bethan Lewis
7 Alex Callender
8 Sioned Harries

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Replacements:
16 Kelsey Jones
17 Gwenllian Pyrs
18 Sisilia Tuipulotu
19 Georgia Evans
20 Siwan Lillicrap
21 Ffion Lewis
22 Lleucu George
23 Megan Webb

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