TikTok Women’s Six Nations | World Cup info: Wales
After a stunning start to the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations in April, Wales have since lost five consecutive Tests before the start of the tournament in New Zealand this month.
However, this will be Wales’ first tournament with professional players, and Ioan Cunningham’s side are improving with each passing game.
So what can fans expect when Wales kick off their World Cup?
Wales have had a brilliant start to the year. They beat Ireland 27-19 away from home at the end of March to kick off their TikTok Women’s Six Nations 2022 campaign on the right foot and followed it up with another impressive victory from behind against the Scotland.
Next came England, and despite losing 58-5, Cunningham’s side impressed with a passionate performance that carried Simon Middleton’s side through to the end.
They did the same in a 33-5 loss to France at Cardiff Arms Park, but Wales struggled to regain their form of the start of the following year.
Losses to Italy, Canada and another loss to England were to follow, although this time Middleton’s side beat them 73-7.
Cunningham said: “We are happy with the team we have chosen and can’t wait to see how we can play in New Zealand.
“I can’t wait, I just want to keep going. It’s been a big buildup, so it’s important that what we do next is right and that we put those steps in place before we face Scotland.
How they qualified
Wales qualified automatically for the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand as one of the top seven in the 2017 tournament.
Jasmine Joyce is one of the most exciting players in world rugby, and Wales will need her at her best in New Zealand.
She was front and center when Wales were at their peak in the early stages of the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.
Joyce is one of seven Bristol Bears stars to be called up for the Wales squad, so she will feel right at home alongside some of the Allianz Premier 15’s best players at the World Cup.
His delicious pace and pace will be crucial if Wales are to unlock the world’s best defenses in New Zealand.
Vice-captain Hannah Jones will also be a key attacking threat for Wales.
The 39-cap Gloucester-Hartpury center has been one of Cunningham’s most notable full-backs of the past 12 months.
Wales can also count on experienced strikers such as Siwan Lillicrap, Carys Phillips, Sioned Harries and Alisha Butchers.
Cunningham’s 32-man squad comprises 18 forwards and 14 fullbacks, with Siwan Lillicrap named captain and Hannah Jones vice-captain.
Elinor Snowsill is the most experienced member of the squad with 67 caps, but there was also room for some exciting young stars.
Sisilia Tuipulotu impressed in all four of her caps, while Carys Williams-Morris also made the cut after representing England at international level.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) October 4, 2022
Fullbacks: Keira Bevan (44), Lleucu George (10), Hannah Jones (39), Jasmine Joyce (27), Kerin Lake (38), Ffion Lewis (24), Lisa Neumann (27), Lowri Norkett (2), Kayleigh Powell (11), Elinor Snowsill (67), Niamh Terry (7), Meg Webb (9), Robyn Wilkins (59), Carys Williams-Morris (2)
Forwards: Alisha Butchers (38), Alex Callender (19), Gwen Crabb (25), Georgia Evans (12), Kat Evans (3), Abbie Fleming (4), Cerys Hale (41), Sioned Harries (65), Cara Hope (21), Natalia John (29), Kelsey Jones (29), Bethan Lewis (29), Siwan Lillicrap (47), Carys Phillips (60), Gwenllian Pyrs (21), Donna Rose (12), Caryl Thomas (60), Sisilia Tuipulotu (4)
Wales kick off their World Cup campaign with a mouth-watering Pool A clash against Scotland on Sunday 9 October in Whangarei.
Cunningham’s side won by five points when the teams last met at TikTok’s Women’s Six Nations in April and are just one place above Scotland in the global rankings.
This will be followed on Saturday 15 October by a clash with tournament hosts New Zealand, with the Black Ferns currently ranked second in the world.
Their group stage will end on Saturday 22 October against Australia.