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Wales septet set for Friday night French clash

Wales Women head coach Ioan Cunningham has made five changes and two positional ahead of their TikTok Women’s Six Nations Round 4 match against France on Friday night (8pm, Cardiff Arms Park).

Upfront, Cerys Hale and Natalia John come back in at tighthead and lock respectively and Beth Lewis is handed her first start of the campaign on the openside, Alisha Butchers moving back to the blindside.

Keira Bevan and Elinor Snowsill return as the halfback partnership with Robyn Wilkins moving to inside centre. Niamh Terry joins the matchday 23.

Cunningham said, “We took a lot of learnings from the England Test. We’ve had a good two weeks’ build-up to this game and we’re excited to kick on. One of the learnings was how we dealt with the occasion at Kingsholm and we are looking forward to returning home to Cardiff Arms Park. A big home crowd on Friday night will give the players a real boost, hopefully we can start well and put in a good performance.

“France are one of the top three teams in the world, they have powerful runners and attacking options all over the pitch that will certainly test us. We need to be ready to take all our own attacking opportunities and our selection behind the scrum reflects that. We have looked at combinations that will hopefully give us some additional attacking options and help get the ball to our outside backs.

“In the forwards, Cerys Hale did well when she came on against England and Beth (Lewis) deserves a chance to start having trained very well and made an impact when she’s come on. Natalia (John) has been a key player all season. Alex Callender and Sioned Harries will have different roles this week and Sisilia misses out this time but we are very much excited by her progress including her performance against England.”

Wales team to play France on Friday night:

15 Kayleigh Powell
14 Lisa Neumann
13 Hannah Jones
12 Robyn Wilkins
11 Jasmine Joyce
10 Elinor Snowsill
9 Keira Bevan
1 Gwenllian Pyrs
2 Carys Phillips
3 Cerys Hale
4 Natalia John
5 Gwen Crabb
6 Alisha Butchers
7 Bethan Lewis
8 Siwan Lillicrap (c)

Replacements:
16 Kelsey Jones
17 Cara Hope
18 Donna Rose
19 Alex Callender
20 Sioned Harries
21 Ffion Lewis
22 Kerin Lake
23 Niamh Terry


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