Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham has ripped up half his side to take on world champions New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday (4am UK time).

Centre Hannah Jones will captain a Wales side with seven changes to the starting line-up and one positional switch from the team that lost to Canada in the WXV1 opener in Wellington.

Full back Nel Metcalfe, 18, makes her first start for her country against the reigning world champions after making her Wales debut off the bench in the historic 38-18 win over the USA in Colwyn Bay.

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Hooker Kelsey Jones returns at hooker, with Donna Rose selected at prop and in the starting line-up for the first time since facing New Zealand in the last World Cup.

The experienced Sioned Harries comes in at No 8 and wins her 77th cap for her country in a back row which sees Alisha Butchers made vice-captain. Lleucu George is fly-half in a new-look midfield, with Hannah Bluck named at inside centre.

Carys Williams-Morris is named on the wing, with double Olympian Jasmine Joyce on the other flank and Metcalfe at full back.

Cunningham said: "We brought a squad of 30 players and the intention was to give as many players as we can the experience of playing against the best teams in the world in WXV1.

"We are excited to see this team face the challenge of playing the world champions in their own back yard. It will be a major challenge but it’s why we are here, and we want to test ourselves against the best.

"We are here to perform but we also need to build the depth of the squad and training has revealed a real competition for places and that will be key as we build to the next World Cup in England in 2025.
"Nel has impressed everyone since she has been with us and fully deserves this opportunity to show what she can do. It has been a remarkable journey for her since she played for Wales U20s, three months ago, in Canada.

"Kelsey and Donna are back and given an opportunity and Sioned will bring her vast experience at Test level to the side. Lleucu and Hannah Bluck have impressed and deserve their opportunity to start, while Jaz and Carys offer us a threat out wide.

"We know we have to tighten up on keeping the ball after the performance against Canada and as we showed in Wellington when we do that we can score tries and be competitive against any side."

Wales team to face New Zealand
15. Nel Metcalfe
14. Jasmine Joyce
13. Hannah Jones (Capt)
12. Hannah Bluck
11. Carys Williams-Morris
10. Lleucu George
9. Keira Bevan;
1. Gwenllian Pyrs
2. Kelsey Jones
3. Donna Rose
4. Abbie Fleming
5. Kate Williams
6. Alisha Butchers (VC)
7. Alex Callend
8. Sioned Harries

16. Kat Evans
17. Abbey Constable
18. Sisilia Tuipulotu
19. Bryonie King
20. Bethan Lewis
21. Meg Davies
22. Robyn Wilkins
23. Meg Webb