The Wales management, consisting now of Chris Horsman, Geraint Lewis and Gareth Wyatt, have named 34 players to start preparations for the first round of the 2020 Six Nations against Italy at Cardiff Arms Park.
There is only one uncapped name on the list, Ruth Lewis (Ospreys), who has been brought in to replace the recently retired Amy Evans. Evans will be sorely missed in what was a powerful front row last season.
But no fewer than eleven other players made their debuts only last autumn, as the selectors refined long-term plans for the journey to the 2021 World Cup. Siwan Lillicrap remains captain. She will be hoping to continue the progress Wales made during their five November matches.
It’s unfortunate that the WRU is still unable to explain Rowland Phillips’ continued absence as Head Coach, not least because his daughter Carys also remains excluded along with Sioned Harries. At least the door is not closed to either of those two senior players. Experience counts double when it comes to World Cups.
Forwards: Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Gwen Crabb, Georgia Evans, Abbie Fleming, Cerys Hale, Lleucu George, Cara Hope, Natalia John, Manon Johnes, Kelsey Jones, Molly Kelly, Sarah Lawrence, Bethan Lewis, Ruth Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap, Robyn Lock, Gwenllian Pyrs (18)
Backs: Keira Bevan, Hannah Bluck, Hannah Jones, Jasmine Joyce, Courtney Keight, Kerin Lake, Caitlin Lewis, Ffion Lewis, Lisa Neumann, Kayleigh Powell, Paige Randall, Lauren Smyth, Elinor Snowsill, Niamh Terry, Megan Webb, Robyn Wilkins (16)
The three-man management team say they are in charge for this series only.