Wales name side for World Cup opener

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Wales are ranked tenth in the world
Women’s Rugby World Cup
Venues: Dublin and Belfast Dates: 9-26 August
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio Ulster medium wave and text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Wales have named Carys Phillips as their captain for their World Cup opener with New Zealand in Dublin on Wednesday.

Centre Rebecca De Filippo is ruled out for the tournament by a foot injury suffered in training and is replaced by 18-year-old India Berbillion.

Wales are in a tough pool alongside the Black Ferns, ranked second in the world, as well as third-ranked Canada.

“We’re hoping to do Wales proud,” coach Rowland Phillips said.

“We’ve set out a path to take women’s rugby in Wales to new heights, and while that goes well beyond New Zealand, the Black Ferns are an excellent team to test yourself against,” he added.

“We’re expecting a strong Welsh crowd tomorrow, and the messages of good luck we’ve been receiving from back home have been greatly appreciated by the squad.”

Uncapped 17-year-old back-rower Lleucu George and hooker Kelsey Jones, 18, could both make debuts off the bench.

Hannah Jones, one of the standout Wales Sevens players this season, starts.

England face Spain in the first match of the tournament at 14:00 (BST) on 9 August, with Wales v New Zealand at 14:45 (BST)

Wales team to face New Zealand: Dyddgu Hywel (Scarlets); Elen Evans (RGC), Gemma Rowland (Dragons), Hannah Jones (Scarlets), Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets); Elinor Snowsill (Dragons), Keira Bevan (Ospreys); Caryl Thomas (Scarlets) Carys Phillips (c) (Ospreys), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Rebecca Rowe (Dragons), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Rachel Taylor (RGC), Sioned Harries (Scarlets)

Replacements: Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Meg York (Dragons), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Lleucu George (Scarlets), Sian Moore (Dragons), Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys), Jodie Evans (Scarlets)

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