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Six uncapped players as Wales announce autumn squad

Wales' team huddle before the game

Wales have announced their squad of 36 ahead of their three-match autumn series against Japan, South Africa and Canada next month.

Led by captain Siwan Lillicrap, the squad features six uncapped players in the form of forwards Kat Evans, Liliana Podpadec and Madi Johns, and backs Jade Mullen, Leanne Burnell and Flo Williams.

Both Evans and Mullen were part of Wales’s sevens squad this summer while Williams was an uncapped member of last season’s Women’s Six Nations squad.

The coaching team is led jointly by Geraint Lewis and Ioan Cunningham, with attack coach Richard Whiffin and coaching intern Sophie Spence making up the rest of the unit.

And forwards coach Lewis believes the Welsh squad boasts a strong blend of youth and experience.

“We feel we have a good mix of new and experienced players which will provide competition within the squad which is always healthy in international sport in order to improve performances and results,” said Lewis.

“Many Welsh players have been performing well for their Allianz Premier 15s clubs and it’s also been good to see women’s club rugby return following 18 months of stoppages in Wales.

“Club performances and a productive senior Talent ID Day have provided the opportunity for players to force their way into this squad for the forthcoming campaign which will test them at a higher level.

“As is always the case in international rugby, there were some difficult calls with some players missing out but many of those individuals have already shown a determination to work hard for another chance to wear the jersey.

“There’s a lot to play for in the next year and this is the start of that journey.”

Defence and scrum coach Cunningham added: “We are looking forward to these home internationals and testing ourselves against three teams who will test the group in different ways, with a variety of styles and structures.

“That is just what is required a year out from Rugby World Cup.”

Tickets are now on sale for Wales Women’s autumn games via www.wru.wales/waleswomen

Wales Women’s autumn series (please note confirmed kick-off times)

Sunday 7 Nov, 5pm: Wales v Japan
Saturday 13 Nov, 12.15pm: Wales v SA
Sunday 21 Nov, 5pm: Wales v Canada

Forwards: Siwan Lillicrap (capt), Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Bethan Dainton, Kat Evans, Cerys Hale, Cara Hope, Gwen Crabb, Abbie Fleming, Georgia Evans, Natalia John, Madi Johns, Manon Johnes, Molly Kelly, Bethan Lewis, Robyn Lock, Liliana Podpadec, Gwenllian Pyrs, Donna Rose, Caryl Thomas

Backs: Keira Bevan, Leanne Burnell, Hannah Jones, Jasmine Joyce, Jess Kavanagh, Courtney Keight, Kerin Lake, Caitlin Lewis, Ffion Lewis, Jade Mullen, Lisa Neumann, Elinor Snowsill, Niamh Terry, Flo Williams, Megan Webb, Robyn Wilkins