Wales Women head coach Ioan Cunningham has named a strong team to take on Canada in the inaugural WXV1 tournament, which begins this weekend. The match will be played at Sky Stadium, Wellington, on Saturday, October 21st. (KO: 4am UK time).

Hannah Jones will captain the side and win her 50th cap, eight years on from her debut as a 16-year-old against Scotland in 2015.

Centre Jones will link up with Kerin Lake in the Welsh midfield, with Cunningham selecting the same starting line-up that recorded a first win over the USA in September.

The experienced Carys Williams-Morris comes onto the bench against a Canada side ranked number four in the world and are two places above Wales in the world rankings.

Wales came into the WXV1 with a resounding 38-18 victory over the USA at the Stadiwm CSM in Colwyn Bay before they headed out to New Zealand.

Wales head coach Cunningham said: "We have rewarded the starting line-up that performed so well and produced a historic first victory over the USA in Colwyn Bay back in September.

"Carys Williams-Morris comes into squad and will bring her experience and we are confident she will have a major impact off the bench. We are excited for the opening game of the WXV1 and are raring to go and to see where we are against one of the best sides in the world.

"Canada ran England close in a recent Test match and we know they are physical side, but we have worked hard during our preparation for this tournament and are looking forward to the challenge at the ‘Cake Tin’ on Saturday.

"Hannah Jones will captain the side and win her 50th cap for her country and we all know this is a special occasion for her, her family and for all the squad. She made her Wales debut as a 16-year-old and her leadership qualities, on and off the field, is why she is so respected throughout the game."

Wales Women vs Canada

15. Jasmine Joyce, 14. Lisa Neumann, 13. Hannah Jones (captain), 12. Kerin Lake, 11. Carys Cox, 10. Robyn Wilkins, 9. Keira Bevan; 1. Gwenllian Pyrs, 2. Carys Phillips, 3. Sisilia Tuipulotu, 4. Abbie Fleming, 5. Georgia Evans, 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Alex Callender, 8. Bethan Lewis (VC)

Replacements: 16. Kelsey Jones, 17. Abbey Constable, 18. Donna Rose, 19. Kate Williams, 20. Sioned Harries, 21. Meg Davies, 22. Lleucu George, 23. Carys Williams-Morris

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