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Hopkins co-captains Wales in Women's Six Nations finale

International | 13th April 2022

Cardiff’s Gwennan Hopkins has been named co-captain of Wales as Liza Burgess’ side sign off their U18 Women’s Six Nations campaign against Ireland on Wednesday (KO 12.00pm).

Five Blue and Blacks youngsters have been named in the starting line-up for the clash in Edinburgh, as Wales look to build on earlier victories over Scotland and Italy.

Hopkins, who skippered Cardiff to the top of the age grade table earlier this year, leads the side alongside Scarlets centre Jenna de Vera. 

Partnering de Vera in midfield is Cardiff’s Gabby Healan, who scored a sensational try against Italy last time out, while Grace Bellamy is included on the wing.

Blue and Blacks duo Mya Dixon and Molly Reardon will form the half back partnership, with a further four of their club team-mates are named as replacements.

With rolling subs in-play for the encounter, Georgia Morgan, Fern Cumine, Katy Hudd and Rachel Thomas-Evans will all hope to play their part and make an impact from the bench.

Head coach Burgess said: “The whole week has been amazing. We have trained against England and France, beaten Scotland (24-0) and Italy (14-0) in 35 minute matches and now we get to play a full match against Ireland.

‘We’ve also taken part in other development activities in areas such as analysis and game understanding and as a coaching team we’ve had time to discuss on and off-field development pathways with the players.

“The girls’ attitude has been outstanding. They have embraced every opportunity they’ve been given and grown as they week has gone on.

“We were very pleased with the games on Saturday. The whole squad took on board everything we’d asked and came off the field wanting to improve again, despite the excellent results.  Ireland will be a step up again tomorrow. They are a similar side to us in many ways and will challenge us physically.

“It really is about the whole squad. Many of these players could go on to play at a higher level and this is a brilliant opportunity for them all at the start of their international journey.”

Wales U18: Mollie Wilkinson (Exiles); Grace Bellamy (Cardiff), Gabby Healan (Cardiff), Jenna De Vera (co-captain, Scarlets), Nel Metcalfe (RGC); Mya Dixon (Cardiff), Molly Reardon (Cardiff); Chelsea Chesters (Scarlets), Molly Wakely (Dragons), Lowri Pritchard (Scarlets), Erin Jones (RGC), Catrin Stewart (RGC), Jess Rogers (Ospreys), Lucy Isaac (Dragons), Gwennan Hopkins (co-captain, Cardiff)

Replacements: Dali Hopkins (Ospreys), Georgia Morgan (Cardiff), Maisie Davies (Scarlets), Milly Summer (Scarlets), Fern Cumine (Cardiff), Katy Hudd (Cardiff), Sian Jones (RGC), Lowri Elias (Scarlets), Molly Powell (Dragons), Rachel Thomas-Evans (Cardiff)

The match will kick off at 12.00pm and streamed live HERE