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Wales set to face Canada in first warm-up match

Wales set to face Canada in first warm-up match

A fresh-faced Welsh side are set to take on Canada tomorrow as part of their preparations for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup.

Ioan Cunningham has named his team to face the world number four team at Wanderers Grounds, Halifax, with kick-off at 9pm UK time.

Wales will be seeking momentum before facing 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations champions England in their final warm-up game at Ashton Gate in September.

The last time Canada and Wales went head-to-head, the Maple Leafs came out on top with a resounding 24-7 victory in Cardiff, despite Wales having the lead at half-time.

But with multiple players now training under professional contracts, Cunningham’s side will be looking for a different result this time around.

The visitors will have two uncapped players in their starting line-up with Carys Williams-Morris and Lowri Norkett making their Welsh senior international debuts whilst scrum-half Eloise Hayward looks for her first cap from the bench.

Williams-Morris will play her maiden Test for Wales having previously won five caps for England back in 2019.

Hannah Jones will captain the side as regular skipper Siwan Lillicrap starts on the bench, and the centre will be hoping for a strong start to build momentum within the game.

Sioned Harries will be back as number eight after an impressive 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations performance and will be hoping that her warm-up performances can secure her a ticket to her fourth World Cup.

There will also be a first opportunity of the year for hooker Kat Evans who joins the familiar partnership of Cara Hope and Donna Rose in the front row.

But the usual faces of Alisha Butchers and Kiera Bevan are not to be seen in team in Halifax as the team that enjoyed their best TikTok Women’s Six Nations finish since 2009 is undeniably changed.

Wales recorded two wins from five in their Six Nations campaign, with victories over Ireland and Scotland before falling to defeat against England, France and Italy.

Cunningham’s squad will be looking for another defiant start against Scotland in their World Cup campaign before facing tough Pool A opponents New Zealand and Australia.

Canada will be a big hitter in preparation as they host their first Test on home soil in seven years and get set to make their mark in front of a passionate home crowd.

And with Cunningham convinced that there’s still time to impress before he picks his World Cup squad, the effort will be crucial for players to book their seat on the plane to New Zealand in October.

Canada: Elissa Alarie; Paige Farries, Sara Kaljuvee, Alexandra Tessier, Maddy Grant; Taylor Perry, Brianna Miller; Olivia DeMerchant, Emily Tuttosi, DaLeaka Menin, Courtney Holtkamp, Tyson Beukeboom, Fabiola Forteza, Karen Paquin, Sophie de Goede (capt)

Replacements: Laura Russell, Brittany Kassil, Alex Ellis, Emma Taylor, Ngalula Fuamba, Sara Svoboda, Justine Pelletier, Julia Schell

Wales: Kayleigh Powell; Jasmine Joyce, Carys Williams-Morris, Hannah Jones (capt), Lowri Norkett; Elinor Snowsill, Ffion Lewis; Cara Hope, Kat Evans, Donna Rose, Abbie Fleming, Natalia John, Beth Lewis, Manon Johnes, Sioned Harries

Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Caryl Thomas, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Georgia Evans, Siwan Lillicrap, Eloise Hayward, Lleucu George, Caitlin Lewis.