Rachel Taylor retains captaincy in new-look Welsh women's squad

Welsh women's rugby captain Rachel Taylor

Wales have named seven uncapped players in the 27-strong squad for the women's Six Nations championship.

Forwards Bethan Howell, Carys Phillips and Nia Davies will be joined by backs Sian Moore, Leila Johns, Rafiuke Taylor and Dyddgu Hywel.

Rachel Taylor leads the side for the second season. Gemma Hallett and Elen Evans have been named as vice-captains.

Wales kick off the tournament against Ireland at Aberavon's Talbot Athletic Ground on Sunday, 3 February.

They then travel to France, Italy and Scotland before completing the championship against England at home.

Prop Catrin Edwards, second row Gemma Hallett, flanker Catrina Nicholas and fly half Elinor Snowsill all return to the squad after missing last year's championship.

Coach Rhys Edwards believes the returning players will add strength.

"They bring a lot of experience," he said.

"It also means we have stiff competition for places, which may not have been the case in the past."

WALES SQUAD

ForwardsJenny Davies (Waterloo/Blues), Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins /Scarlets), Megan York (Blaenau Gwent/Dragons), Bethan Howell (Seven Sisters/Ospreys), Lowri Harries (Neath Athletic/Scarlets), Carys Phillips (Cardiff Met/Ospreys), Nia Davies (Cardiff Met/Blues), Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun/Blues), Vicky Owens (Pontyclun/Scarlets), Shona Powell Hughes (Neath Athletic/Ospreys) Sioned Harries (Cardiff Quins/Scarlets), Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins/Blues), Rachel Taylor (Bristol/Dragons).

BacksAmy Day (Unattached/Dragons), Laura Prosse (Pontyclun/Blues), Sian Moore (Bristol/Dragons), Elinor Snowsill (Bristol/Dragons), Mared Evans (Cardiff Quins/Scarlets), Rebecca de Filippo (Cardiff Quins/Scarlets), Phillippa Tuttiett (Cardiff Quins/Blues), Elen Evans (Waterloo/Scarlets), Caryl James (Cardiff Quins/ Scarlets), Leila Johns (unattached/Dragons), Charlie Murray (Neath Athletic/Ospreys), Rafiuke Taylor (Seaview/Blues), Rosie Fletcher (Neath Athletic/Ospreys), Dyddgu Hywel (Caernarfon/Scarlets).

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