Wales and Italy have named their 19-player squads for the Women’s European Championship B clash at Pandy Park, Cross Keys on Sunday (kick-off 1pm).
The match is the second in the North group, with Ireland beating Italy 30-6 last week in Udine. Wales will travel to Ireland for the concluding encounter on October 8.
Wales head coach Thomas Brindle has named 15 of the 17 who performed admirably in the Test defeat to England last week. Katie Carr of Bridgend Blue Bulls and Cardiff Demons, and Anne Marie Sayle of Bradford Bulls and the RAF, will win their first caps if selected. Lauren Aitken and Joeann McGuire also join the squad. Seren Gough-Walters and player of the match Leanne Burnell both miss out after picking up injuries in that game.
“It’s our first ever tournament game so we’re looking forward to it,” said Brindle. “Trying to get more regular fixtures is important to us as we build towards the 2025 Rugby League World Cup. That’s our goal, not only to get there but to compete on a world stage. This game against Italy is an important step for us.”
Italy head coach Alberto Suin noted: “I believe in the group and in the qualities of every single player. It will not be an easy match, but we want to pick up from the good things we did against Ireland. We always play to win and we will certainly face the match in a different, more decisive and conscious way.”
Katie Carr, Rosie Carr, Ffion Jones, Sara Jones, Eleri Michael (all Bridgend Blue Bulls / Cardiff Demons), Bethan Dainton (British Army), Lauren Aitken, Charlie Mundy, Rhi Parker, Brittony Price, Amberley Ruck (all Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons), Anne-Marie Sayle (Castleford Tigers / RAF), Emily Hughes, Kathryn Salter (both London Broncos), Bryonie King, Joeann McGuire, Molly Reardon (all Rhondda Outlaws / Cardiff Demons), Fern Davies (Warrington Wolves), Carys Marsh (Wigan Warriors)
Denise Falco, Martina Viglianisi (Amatori Catania Rugby), Alessandra Menotti, Altes Forto, Giada Arzenton, Giulia Colangeli, Martina Dall’Antonia, Matilde Camilla Giacomazzo, Silvia Gai, Siria Raisa, Virginia Pinarello (Lignano Xlll), Marika Ascione, Marvin Severgnini, Rebecca Liliana Pantaleoni, Rosa Bettolati, Rwan Hassnien (Phoenix Rugby Verdello), Ludovica Gurrieri, Giulia Iozzia, Giuliana Zaffarana (Vittoria Rugby)