New Zealand beat Wales 56-12 after running in 10 tries when the two sides met during the pool stage of the World Cup; the Black Ferns have named a strong side ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final clash
Last Updated: 27/10/22 10:31am
Keira Bevan and Lowri Norkett will both start as Wales make four changes for their Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with New Zealand on Saturday.
Head coach Ioan Cunningham will begin with Bevan at scrum-half and Norkett on the right wing while Jasmine Joyce starts at full-back.
Donna Rose, returning from suspension, and Carys Phillips reclaim their places in the front row. Hannah Jones also remains captain.
“It’s a hugely exciting week for us all, the girls have done extremely well to get to this point and we should all be proud of that,” Cunningham told the official Wales website. “We have a tough task on Saturday facing the Black Ferns on their home patch. They are in good form, scoring a lot of points and playing well.
“However, we have nothing to lose, we intend to go out and leave everything on the field.
“We had some set piece dominance in our Pool game against them but we also created quite a few chances, many of which we didn’t convert.”
New Zealand were 56-12 winners when the sides met during the pool stage of the competition, the Black Ferns progressing as top seeds while Wales advanced as the eighth seed having recorded just one victory.
“New Zealand have got good athletes across the park, they keep the ball in hand so we’ve selected a back three who can cover a lot of ground and maintain a high level of physicality with Jaz at full-back and Lisa and Lowri on the wings,” Cunningham added.
“Keira has made a positive impact coming off the bench so deserves to start at scrum-half while Ffion has a different role this week. Lleucu’s attitude has been excellent and she deserves to get a chance. She’s got a good passing game too.
“It’s good to see Gwenllian Pyrs in the matchday 23 too having returned to fitness and form in time for the quarter-final.
“We will be playing in front of a huge home crowd and we will need to feed off the atmosphere. To play New Zealand twice in a World Cup is 100 per cent the experience you want to grow as a team – it’s only going to raise our standards short term but also longer term too.”
The favourites New Zealand will once again have Stacey Fluhler, Ruby Tui and Portia Woodman at their disposal in the starting line-up, while co-captain Kennedy Simon returns from injury to feature off the bench.
Wales team: 15 Jasmine Joyce, 14 Lowri Norkett, 13 Carys Williams-Morris, 12 Hannah Jones (c), 11 Lisa Neumann, 10 Elinor Snowsill; 9 Keira Bevan, 1 Cara Hope, 2 Carys Phillips, 3 Donna Rose, 4 Natalia John, 5 Gwen Crabb, 6 Bethan Lewis, 7 Alex Callender, 8 Sioned Harries.
Replacements: 16 Kelsey Jones, 17 Gwenllian Pyrs, 18 Sisilia Tuipulotu, 19 Georgia Evans, 20 Siwan Lillicrap, 21 Ffion Lewis, 22 Lleucu George, 23 Megan Webb.