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'We've had our first proper pre-season as professional athletes'

By Kim Ekin
Siwan Lillicrap of Wales during the Women's Six Nations match between England and Wales Women at Twickenham Stoop on March 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Siwan Lillicrap, the captain of the Wales Women team, thinks the recent training camp in Halifax and the test match against Canada – albeit a defeat – will be quite helpful in the coming months.

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Wales is preparing for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, and while they were upset with the 31-3 outcome on Saturday, the main sentiment around the camp is the opportunity the week has given players and coaches to put themselves to the test.

Lillicrap said, “It was so important to have a hit-out against quality opposition like Canada. We’ve had our first proper pre-season as professional athletes and it was vital to measure ourselves in a Test match situation at this stage of our prep for the world cup.

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Eddie Jones explains the Danny Care substitute was completely tactical
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Eddie Jones explains the Danny Care substitute was completely tactical

“We will take a lot of learning from the match and the whole week. Our set-piece improved compared to our training session against Canada on Tuesday, we need to improve our urgency in contact, we allowed Canada too many turnovers but there were lots of positives and lots of things to work on.

“It was a great benchmark for us. Defensively we looked comfortable mostly but we didn’t take the scoring opportunities we had so we will need to work on that. Lots to work on but lots of positives.

“It’s been really valuable to train together, away from home for a week. We learned a lot about each other, I’m excited about the journey we’re on over the next few weeks before we get on the plane to New Zealand.

“I’m really proud of the first caps, they are well deserved by all three and other girls had important opportunities too.

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“We have more strength in depth in the squad than I’ve ever experienced which is exactly what we need to give the coaches selection headaches for the world cup.”

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