Women's Rugby World Cup: Teenager Lleucu George makes first Wales start

Lleucu George
Scarlets flanker Lleucu George represented Wales in Sevens at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games
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.

Teenage flanker Lleucu George will make her first start for Wales in their final Women's Rugby World Cup pool match against Hong Kong on Thursday (17:15 BST) at the UCD Bowl in Dublin.

The 17-year-old blindside won her first cap off the bench against New Zealand in the opening game of Pool A.

In all, coach Rowland Phillips has made nine changes to Wales' starting XV.

Losses to New Zealand and Canada mean Wales can only reach the play-offs to decide fifth to eighth places.

Hong Kong have yet to score a point in the competition and have conceded 219 points in their two games.

Full-back Jodie Evans and inside centre Robyn Wilkins make their first starts of the tournament, while Jasmine Joyce and Keira Bevan return on the wing and at scrum-half respectively.

Two changes to the front row see loose-head Cerys Hale and tight-head Meg York pack down either side of captain Carys Phillips.

Lock Siwan Lillicrap also makes her first start of the Women's Rugby World Cup, as does number eight Shona Powell-Hughes.

Loose-head prop Gwenllian Pyrs could make her Wales debut from the bench.

"We've surpassed many people's expectations in terms of our performances against two of the world's best teams, but we're always looking to improve standards," said Phillips.

"We're not content with just putting up a fight. We're working towards winning big games.

"Our commitment and improvement was there for everyone to see against Canada. We pushed a very good team all the way, and we've got to take inspiration from that.

"The main thing now is to keep up that momentum in this competition, starting with Hong Kong."


Wales: Jodie Evans (Scarlets); Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets), Gemma Rowland (Dragons), Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys), Jess Kavanagh-Williams (RGC); Elinor Snowsill (Dragons), Keira Bevan (Ospreys); Cerys Hale (Dragons), Carys Phillips (Ospreys), Meg York (Dragons), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Lleucu George (Scarlets), Sioned Harries (Scarlets), Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys).

Replacements: Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Gwenllian Pyrs (RGC), Caryl Thomas (Scarlets), Rebecca Rowe (Blues), Rachel Taylor (RGC), Sian Moore (Dragons), Elen Evans (RGC), Dyddgu Hywel (Scarlets).

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