WXV 1: Ioan Cunningham names Wales training squad for inaugural competition

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham
Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham was appointed in September 2021

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham has named a 39-player training squad ahead of the inaugural WXV tournament.

WXV 1, which takes place in October, will see Wales take on Canada, Australia and hosts New Zealand.

There is a first call-up for Carys Cox of Worcester Warriors, who qualifies for Wales through her father, while five Under-20s have been invited.

Backs Jasmine Joyce and Kayleigh Powell will be available after hybrid contracts were agreed with GB Sevens.

Wales face the United States at Stadiwm CSM in Colwyn Bay on Saturday, 30 September, before travelling to New Zealand.

The hybrid contracts for Joyce and Powell and the seven addition full-time professional contracts means Wales now have 32 full-time players for the 2023-24 season.

"The squad are excited about being back together after the recent Six Nations," said Cunningham.

"We have already had a good pre-season with our testing results demonstrating the value of having full-time professional athletes available for the sessions we have completed.

"We have already begun our rugby sessions and have seen the value of having players being available full-time to the coaching team.

"The players' desire to improve and to learn has impressed us all and we know we want to be a better team than we were in the Six Nations for the WXV."

The seven new full-time contracts were awarded to full-back Courtney Keight, centre Hannah Bluck, wing Carys Williams-Morris, prop Abbey Constable, back-rowers Kate Williams and Bryonie King and scrum half Megan Davies.

Nel Metcalfe, Sian Jones, Cana Williams, Paige Jones, Rosie Carr and Gwennan Hopkins are the five Under-20s players who have been invited to train with the squad.

"Five of the Under-20s squad have been invited to train with us after their impressive tour of Canada in the summer and their performances in the 39-12 win against Canada," added Cunningham.

"They have brought real enthusiasm and have impressed all of us with their attitude and have shown they are players of real potential."

Wales' training squad

Forwards: Kat Evans, Sioned Harries, Abbie Fleming, Alex Callender, Alisha Butchers, Bethan Lewis, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Donna Rose, Georgia Evans, Gwen Crabb, Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones, Natalia John, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Abbey Constable, Bryonie King, Kate Williams, Cana Williams, Gwennan Hopkins, Rosie Carr, Paige Jones.

Backs: Amelia Tutt, Carys Cox, Courtney Keight, Ffion Lewis, Hannah Jones (capt), Jasmine Joyce, Kayleigh Powell, Keira Bevan, Kerin Lake, Lisa Neumann, Lleucu George, Lowri Norkett, Meg Webb, Niamh Terry, Robyn Wilkins, Carys Williams-Morris, Hannah Bluck, Megan Davies, Cath Richards, Nel Metcalfe, Sian Jones.