Wales rugby captain Hannah Jones says the whole women's squad is disappointed their pre-WXV runout against USA this weekend won't be broadcast on live TV. The skipper opened a press conference by airing the views on behalf of her fellow players on Thursday.

Ioan Cunningham's Wales side, who this year rose to a record high of sixth in the world rankings after a third-place finish in the Women's Six Nations, host USA (ranked seventh) in Colwyn Bay on Saturday, September 30 (2.30pm kick-off). Cunningham will announce his official WXV squad next week before the group jets to New Zealand to compete in the top tier of World Rugby's inaugural competition, alongside reigning world champions New Zealand and World Cup finalists England.

Wales' run-out against USA will, however, be available to live stream on YouTube via the Welsh Rugby Union and S4C, while the Welsh language broadcaster will also have live coverage on its app S4C Clic and Facebook page, with each offering both Welsh and English commentary. Live commentary will also be available via BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru.

Wales captain Jones, one of 32 full-time players contracted by the Welsh Rugby Union for the upcoming season, began her press conference by saying: "As players, we're disappointed about this weekend that it's not televised, that we can't showcase our rugby this weekend.

"From our side we'd like it to be televised - 'to see it, to be it - for little girls to watch us. That's very disappointing. I think it's a huge opportunity missed, not being shown. There's no men's [Wales] games on.

"It's massive to be shown [on TV]. When I was little, obviously I was watching the men's rugby, and for us to get better we need people to come and watch and play the game. It's a huge factor in developing the game."

It comes as England's Red Roses prepare to play the second of two WXV warm-ups against Canada this weekend, with neither game being broadcast on terrestrial TV and coverage only available on YouTube. As for WXV itself, a competition particularly aimed at driving up the standards of nations between World Cups (especially before the expanded 16-team World Cup in England in 2025), it does not appear that any one UK broadcaster will show live coverage of the four home nations' respective campaigns.

However, in a boost for Wales, S4C are in talks with World Rugby to show Wales' WXV matches. Elsewhere, RugbyPass will be providing free live streaming of all matches and The Times report that ITVX will be showing live coverage of six games from WXV, including England’s matches against Australia, New Zealand and Canada. World Rugby say details about any UK broadcast deal will be confirmed in due course.

In response to the captain's comments about TV coverage of Wales Women v USA, an S4C spokesperson said: "S4C will be showing the game on S4C Clic, YouTube and Facebook with Welsh and English commentary. These options allow viewers from all around the world to watch the game. We are in talks with World Rugby about rights to the new WXV international competition in October and November, as we expand our coverage of women’s rugby."

A BBC spokesperson said: "We will be covering the game extensively on Saturday with full audio and text commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website. BBC do not have the live television rights to this fixture."

Meanwhile, Wales head coach Cunningham spoke about the challenges of the general scheduling of WXV, with two of Wales' three games taking place on the same days as a men's Rugby World Cup semi-final and the final. "It's going to be a challenge, especially the first two rounds of our tournament because it's the semi-final and final of the men's World Cup," he said.

"Obviously, we're in New Zealand which is a different time zone. We want to build on the momentum from the Six Nations. We had some fantastic stories off that Six Nations and we want to continue that visibility of our players, we want them to get exposure and have the rewards of the hard work they've put in, and recognition. The game is growing very fast and we want to continue with that. Timing's probably not ideal but it is what it is and we've got to do the best of it, and we've just got to focus on what we can control."

Wales Women have gone from strength to strength since the WRU increased its investment in the programme in January 2022. A dozen players were contracted on a full-time basis at that point, a number which now stands at 32 on the eve of the new season. Wales reached the quarter-finals of last autumn's World Cup, knocked out by eventual champions New Zealand, and have finished third in the Women's Six Nations behind runaway leaders England and France for the past two tournaments. This year's result secured them a spot in the top tier of the first edition of WXV, with Wales set to face New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

Off the field, Wales broke their record attendance twice in 2023: by welcoming 4,962 fans to Cardiff Arms Park for their Six Nations opener against Ireland, before a sell-out crowd of 8,862 watched on weeks later for England's visit to the Welsh capital.

This year’s Women’s Six Nations was the most viewed on record, with 10.4 million viewing hours, up from the previous best of 7.7 million in 2022. The BBC is two years into a five-year deal to broadcast the Women’s Six Nations. ITV is the host broadcaster of the ongoing men's Rugby World Cup, with S4C also broadcasting Wales' fixtures, including/and a semi-final, third-place play-off and the final from Stade de France in Paris.

Wales WXV fixtures

Warm-up: Wales v USA, Saturday, September 30, Eirias Stadium, Colwyn Bay, 2.30pm kick-off.

Wales v Canada, Saturday, October 21, Sky Stadium, Wellington, 4pm local time kick-off/4am UK time.

Wales v New Zealand, Saturday, October 28, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 4pm local time kick-off/4am UK time.

Wales v Australia, Friday, November 3, Go Media Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, 7pm local time kick-off/7am UK time.