Commonwealth Games: Wales Women's sevens squad includes Olympian Jaz Joyce

Alisha Butchers
Alisha Butchers scored in Wales' defeat to Italy on Sunday

Team Wales include Olympian Jaz Joyce in the women's sevens squad for the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Joyce made her first Six Nations appearance of the season in the 15-22 loss to Italy.

Four other players involved in the Six Nations, Alisha Butchers, Sioned Harries, Hannah Jones and Elinor Snowsill, are also included.

Kayleigh Powell, 18, is the youngest squad member for the Games' first women's sevens event in 88 years.

Head coach Nick Wakley also has the benefit of sevens specialists Sinead Breeze and Laurie Harries and experienced leaders with Cardiff Blues captain Philippa Tuttiett, Army Rugby Union captain Gemma Rowland and the RAF's Sian Williams and Shona Powell-Hughes.

The Gold Coast games will be the first time women's sevens have been included in the programme in 88 years.

Gemma Rowland
Army Rugby Union captain Gemma Rowland

The tournament will be held at the 27,500-capacity Robina Stadium from 13-15 April, with Team Wales drawn in Pool B against Australia, Fiji and England.

Wales Women are already familiar with the Gold Coast after participating in Brisbane's Super 7s competition in early February, and before that they were in action in Dubai in December.

Wakley said: "We have been building up to these tournaments for two years and we have developed a real mental toughness which will be tested in the two weeks post-Six Nations to get us back up to speed.

"It is a real credit to all of the players' commitment and dedication that they find themselves in these huge global tournaments which could go a long way towards sculpting the environment for the next generation of Welsh women rugby players."

Before travelling to the Gold Coast, the same squad will compete in the Hong Kong Sevens (6-8 April) as Wales Women seek to qualify for next year's World Rugby Sevens Series.

Team Wales Women's Sevens: Alisha Butchers; Elinor Snowsill; Gemma Rowland; Hannah Jones; Jaz Joyce; Kayleigh Powell; Laurie Harries; Philippa Tuttiett (c); Shona Powell-Hughes; Sian Williams; Sinead Breeze; Sioned Harries.

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