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Wales boosted by experienced returnees

Wales women’s rugby head coach Rhys Edwards has named seven uncapped players in his 27-strong squad for the forthcoming Six Nations campaign.

Wales are also hugely boosted by the return of prop Catrin Edwards, second row Gemma Hallett, flanker Catrina Nicholas and fly half Elinor Snowsill, who all missed last year's championship.

The debutantes are forwards Bethan Howell, Carys Phillips and Nia Davies and backs Sian Moore, Leila Johns, Rafiuke Taylor and Dyddgu Hywel, in a side which sees Rachel Taylor (pictured) lead the side for the second season running while Gemma Hallett and Elen Evans have been named as vice-captains.

Edwards believes the side he has selected is a blend of youth and experience and is a perfect blend as Wales attempt to finish in the top four of the Six Nations championship to guarantee selection for next year's World Cup.

"I'm quite excited about the squad which has been selected," said Edwards. "We've selected from form where the likes of Rafiuke Taylor have taken a chance given to her. It wasn't long ago she was playing in the lower divisions. She was thrown in against Spain and didn't look out of her depth on the wing - plus she knows where the try-line is."

"The fact that we've got a few players coming back into the squad is great because they bring a lot of experience to the squad," added Edwards. "it also means we have stiff competition for places which may not have been the case in the past."

Wales begin their campaign against Ireland at Aberavon's Port Talbot Athletic Ground on Sunday 3rd February before playing away to France (Feb 8 ), Italy (Feb 24th) and Scotland (March 10) before completing their championship against England at home.

"If we start well against Ireland and pick up a win that takes a lot of pressure off us," said Edwards. "If we can pick up a win hopefully that will set us up for a good little run. France, Italy and Scotland are always difficult on their own patch but we've got a good squad which I think can challenge those teams. As a squad we're also looking forward to playing our home games at Aberavon as it is an established club with a wide pitch and we want to play an expansive game."

Wales Women's Six Nations squad

Jenny 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 - Neat Athletic/Ospreys
Sioned Harries - Cardiff Quins/Scarlets
Catrina Nicholas - Cardiff Quins/Blues
Rachel Taylor - Bristol/Dragons

Amy Day - Unattached/Dragons
Laura Prosser - 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