Wales Women’s head coach Rhys Edwards has bolstered his pack with the return to fitness of Catrin Edwards, Shona Powell-Hughes and Rachel Taylor (pictured) giving his side’s chances against France at the Gnoll on Sunday, a major boost (KO 2pm).
The only other change to the starting line-up which defeated Scotland in the second round of the Six Nations sees Bethan Dainton replace Adi Taviner on the wing.
Taylor’s return on the blindside sees Sian Williams switch to openside. Alisha Butchers is the unfortunate player to miss out, dropping down to the bench after being a try-scorer against Scotland.
“It’s good to have Tails [Rachel Taylor] back where her experience and ability will be crucial against a championship-chasing France side,” said Edwards.
“Alisha Butchers played well against Scotland but competition for places is extremely tough in our back row but it’s great to know we have someone of her ability to come off the bench to make an impact.”
Edwards is expecting a tough battle up front against France so has split his bench 6-2 with six forwards and two backs.
“It’s going to be a tough game up front physically, but we are confident that we can compete with the pack that we have selected. The back-line against Scotland showed their attacking intent, and with Bethan coming in we have somebody who can finish tries. We need to ensure we maximise the opportunities that we create,” he added.
Wales Women v France Women, the Gnoll, Sunday 28th February
15 Dyddgu Hywel(Scarlets / Pontyclun)
14 Bethan Dainton (Bristol / Dragons)
13 Hannah Jones (Scarlets / Penybanc)
12 Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys / Llandaff North)
11 Elen Evans (Scarlets / Caernarfon)
10 Elinor Snowsill (Dragons / Bristol)
9 Keira Bevan (Ospreys/ Skewen);
1 Catrin Edwards (Scarlets/ Llandaff North)
2 Carys Phillips (Ospreys/ Skewen)
3 Megan York (Dragons / Ynysddu)
4 Rebecca Rowe (Dragons / Richmond)
5 Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys / Skewen)
6 Rachel Taylor (Dragons / Caernarfon – Captain)
7 Sian Williams (Worcester / Dragons)
8 Sioned Harries (Whitland/Scarlets)
16 Amy Price (Ospreys/ Skewen)
17 Cerys Hale (Dragons/ Pontyclun)
18 Amy Evans (Ospreys / Skewen)
19 Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys/ Skewen)
20 Alisha Butchers (Scarlets/ Penybanc)
21 Jenny Hawkins (Scarlets / Llandaff North)
22 Kerin Lake (Ospreys/ Skewen)
23 Adi Taviner (Ospreys/ Skewen)