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Wales Online
Wales Online
Katie Sands

Wales make five changes for Women's Six Nations finale in Italy as front row stars return

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham has made five changes for his side's Women's Six Nations finale against Italy on Saturday (3.30pm UK kick-off time).

Keira Bevan resumes the scrum-half berth in place of Ffion Lewis, the high-flying front row of Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones and Sisilia Tuipulotu all return to start in Parma and Alex Callender returns at No. 7 in place of Kate Williams, who made her first Wales start in the position last weekend.

Fourteen of Wales' starting players this weekend were involved in the wins against Ireland and Scotland in rounds one and two.

Centre Hannah Jones once again captains the side, with Lleucu George holding onto her midfield jersey despite Kerin Lake being deemed fit to be named among the replacements having recovered from a calf injury.

If brought on, winger Ameila Tutt will become Wales' fourth new cap of the tournament. Caryl Thomas is also named on the bench after welcoming her new daughter earlier this month.

Wales and Italy head into their tournament finale bidding to bounce back from respective defeats in round four, with Wales having lost 39-14 to France and Italy being downed 29-21 by Scotland.

Wales started the tournament brightly but succumbed to women's rugby heavyweights England and France in the last two rounds. The women in red need a single point to finish third and secure a place in the top tier of new global women's competition WXV, kicking off later this autumn, where they would compete alongside the likes of England and France for at least the new two years. Wales may be able to afford to lose against Italy and still qualify for the top tier, as Scotland must beat Ireland with a bonus point and overturn a significant points difference to finish above them.

Wales boss Cunningham said: "Our goal at the start of the TikTok Six Nations was to have two wins heading into the final game against Italy. We have made no secret of the fact that we have targeted three wins in this tournament.

“The players, coaches and staff have all worked extremely hard to get us to where we are now with the final game to play, and we know we have made significant strides during this tournament.

“Amelia Tutt will become our fourth new cap during this campaign and has earned her place in the squad and having an experienced player like Kerin return to the squad is a major boost.

“Italy have won the last two games against us and are two places above us in the world rankings but we are excited about the challenge ahead of us. We are where we wanted to be, facing Italy on their home turf.”

Wales: 15. Courtney Keight, 14. Lisa Neumann, 13. Hannah Jones (capt), 12. Lleucu George, 11. Carys Williams-Morris, 10. Elinor Snowsill, 9. Keira Bevan, 1. Gwenllian Pyrs, 2. Kelsey Jones, 3. Sisilia Tuipulotu, 4. Abbie Fleming, 5. Georgia Evans, 6. Bethan Lewis, 7. Alex Callender, 8. Sioned Harries.

Replacements: 16. Carys Phillips, 17. Caryl Thomas, 18. Cerys Hale, 19. Bryonie King, 20. Kate Williams, 21. Ffion Lewis, 22. Kerin Lake, 23. Amelia Tutt.

Referee: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Assistants: Aurélie Groizeleau (FFR) and Mary Pringle (SRU)

TMO: Ben Blain (SRU)


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