France will host Wales in a senior women’s international for world ranking points at the Stade Albert Domec de Carcassonne on Sunday 29 October (kick off 3pm local time).
It will be the first clash between the nations as they look towards Rugby League World Cup qualification in 2024.
The hosts, who have beaten Serbia and lost to England this year, have selected nine potential debutants, with Racing Club Lescure Arthes XIII’s 16 year old Stecy Bessier, together with Mahault Pommier-Maurussane, Perle Ramazeilles, Alice Rieunaud, Justine Roses, Noemie Samuel Salome Segala and Amael Vilanove all hoping to feature.
France women’s head coach, Romain Maillot, said: “We are very happy to welcome Wales for our first game in Carcassonne. It will be a real test for our team, the Welsh will do everything to show that they deserve their place on the international scene and it is up to us to respond and apply what was worked on during our recent training camps.”
Wales will take on the top two in Europe with a match against England the following week. Lowri Norkett-Morgan returns to the squad, whilst former captain Shaunni Davies is also included after last playing internationally in mid-2021 before being forced to the sidelines for a year following a knee injury.
There are eight players named who could potentially win their first cap including Cardiff Demons Kim Boaler, Jasmine Gibbons, Ffion Jenkins, Hannah Jones, Ashlea Prescott and Amy Price, who are joined by Brogan Evans and Georgia Taylor.
Kathryn Salter and Charlie Mundy remain the only two ever-presents from the initial Wales women’s side formed in 2019.
“We’ve shown great progression over the last few years and we are building with every session,” noted Wales women’s head coach Tom Brindle. “We worked hard to increase the depth within our squad and we are looking to give a number of players debuts. These games are an important step towards the World Cup, and with a number of injuries, our squad depth give us a chance to see more player playing at the highest levels.”
There is free entry for women to the fixture to raise awareness of breast cancer as part of Pink October.
FRANCE WOMEN’S SQUAD:
Stecy Bessiere, Laureanne Biville, Perle Ramazeilles, Alice Rieunaud, Dorine Samarra, Manon Samarra, Noémie Samuel, Salomé Ségala (Racing Club Lescure Arthes XIII), Elisa Akpa, Leila Bessahli, Margot Canal, Sarah Menaa, Justine Roses, Cristina Song Puch (Déesses Catalanes), Inès Legout, Mahault Pommier, Amael Vilanove (A.S Ayguesvive 13), Laurianne Canet (XIII Limouxin), Elodie Paccul (Baroudeurs de Pia XIII).
WALES WOMEN’S SQUAD
Kim Boaler, Katie Carr, Shaunni Davies, Jasmine Gibbons, Ffion Jenkins, Hannah Jones, Sara Jones, Eleri Michael, Charlie Mundy, Lowri Norkett-Morgan, Rhi Parker, Ashlea Prescott, Amy Price Molly Reardon (all Cardiff Demons), Bethan Dainton (Leeds Rhinos, captain), Kathryn Salter (London Broncos), Brogan Evans (Salford Red Devils), Carys Marsh (Wigan Warriors), Georgia Taylor (York Valkyrie)