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Lewis makes five changes to Wales side for France clash

Kayleigh Powell has been recalled to the Wales side after missing the clash with Ireland due to injury ©Inpho

Kayleigh Powell has been recalled to the Wales side after missing the clash with Ireland due to injury ©Inpho

  • Sunday will see first Women's Six Nations appearances for Megan Webb, Caitlin Lewis and Georgia Evans
  • Kayleigh Powell and Bethan Lewis also return to the starting line up for the match in Cardiff

Geraint Lewis believes his Wales Women side will rise to the occasion when they host France in Round Three of the Women’s Six Nations at Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday.

Lewis has made five changes to the Wales side who are still searching for their first win of this year’s Championship, after defeats to Italy and Ireland in their first two fixtures.

They go up against a resurgent France side on Sunday, who bounced back from opening day defeat to England with a 45-10 victory over Italy last time out.

Megan Webb and Caitlin Lewis will make their first Women’s Six Nations appearances, starting at centre and wing respectively, while Kayleigh Powell returns to the starting line-up at full-back after missing the clash with Ireland due to injury.

In the forwards, there’s a first Women’s Six Nations start for lock Georgia Evans, while Bethan Lewis returns to the back-row alongside Alisha Butchers and captain Siwan Lillicrap.

And despite two defeats from two so far, Lewis is looking forward to the test that the French side will bring to his youthful side.

“Sunday’s game is a fantastic opportunity to play against quality opposition at our home,” he said.

“A number of our players are in the infancy of their international careers and opportunities like this are invaluable ahead of the World Cup. It’s a big challenge but one we feel they are capable of and deserve, I’m sure they’ll relish the occasion.

“Some girls who’ve been playing well have missed out on this occasion, but it gives other players the chance to step up to the plate.

“France are a truly world class outfit. As with the rest of French rugby, they are well-resourced and are a big and talented team.

“The match will be an excellent gauge for us. We are realistic about where we are in our development as a team and Sunday will be a big occasion to test ourselves against a team in the top four in the world.

“It will be good to play with the crowd behind us at the Arms Park again. It’s always nice to play at home and be part of the Six Nations weekend in Cardiff.”

Wales: 15 Kayleigh Powell, 14 Caitlin Lewis, 13 Megan Webb, 12 Kerin Lake, 11 Lisa Neumann, 10 Robyn Wilkins, 9 Keira Bevan, 1 Gwenllian Pyrs, 2 Kelsey Jones, 3 Cerys Hale, 4 Georgia Evans, 5 Gwen Crabb, 6 Alisha Butchers, 7 Bethan Lewis, 8 Siwan Lillicrap

Replacements: 16 Molly Kelly, 17 Cara Hope, 18 Ruth Lewis, 19 Robyn Lock, 20 Manon Johnes, 21 Ffion Lewis, 22 Courtney Keight, 23 Lauren Smyth