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Cunningham pleased with USA test as Wales build towards 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations

Siwan Lillicrap Wales

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham was pleased with the workout his side were given against USA Falcons just two weeks away from the start of the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

The hosts were beaten 31-23 in their sole warm-up match, despite racing into a 15-0 lead inside the opening quarter.

The Americans fought back after the break, admittedly during a period Wales were making a host of changes to maximise players’ game time, ahead of their opening Championship fixture against Ireland on March 26.

But despite the loss, Cunningham believed it was useful test for his players against a talented team ranked sixth in the world.

“It was a very worthwhile exercise for us against a very good USA team,” Cunningham said after the game.

“The tested us in certain areas, which was great and gives us something to go back and work on.

“It’s always nice to score early in the game and see some of what we’ve been working on come together in a match scenario.

“It was good to give game time to so many players two weeks out from the Women’s Six Nations and see some combinations before we make our final selection.”

Wales flew out of the traps in their first game of 2022.

Alisha Butchers and Hannah Jones scored excellent early tries that will have given their coach plenty to be pleased with as he looks ahead to the Championship, where Wales will be keen to improve on last season’s sixth-place finish.

“It’s always nice to score early in the game,” Cunningham added.

“It was good to see some of the stuff we worked on this week, so there is loads to pull out and focus on going into the Ireland game.

“We gave game time to a lot of players today which is great to see. It also confirmed some views on players and that it was today was about for us, it was a really good exercise.

“We now have a huge two weeks and we’re excited to get back to work next week and put certain things in place ahead of what is a very tough start to the Six Nations.

“But we are very much looking forward to it (the Ireland game)”