Wales women will play a second senior international this autumn after it was announced that they will travel to the Stade Albert Domec in Carcassonne to face France on Sunday 29 October (kick off 3pm, local time). It will be a first meeting of the nations.
France have named an initial 26-woman squad, which includes Elisa Akpa who won a Women’s Super League title with York, and have been on camp in Nantes. As part of cancer screening awareness month, Pink October, entry to the match will be free for women.
France women’s head coach, Romain Maillot, commented: “I'm very happy to host Wales for the first time, it would be great to make it a permanent fixture in addition to England. They are an opponent we don’t know too much about but it's going to be a real test for us. They have shown in their previous games a lot of aggression and self-sacrifice, with some good technical elements.”
Wales will use the match as preparation for their clash with England in Leeds the following week. Their head coach, Tom Brindle, commented: “It’s a really important game for us for multiple reasons. We wanted to play back-to-back so we can learn and review. It’ll be historic, France has long been a champion of women’s rugby league, and a good chance to develop as we go into our World Cup cycle, hopefully next year. We want to expose our players to pressured and challenging environments and try to replicate what a tournament competition might be like.”
Brindle added: “There will be a handful of players from Cardiff Demons and the Women’s’ Super League teams gaining their debuts which is always a special moment for those players and families. It shows the increasing depth in our pathways.”