Spain’s Ladies rugby side take on Wales in Alicante

Wales Women will play away fixtures against Spain and Ireland in the next fortnight as they warm up for the 2017 RBS 6 Nations.

Wales Women will play away fixtures against Spain and Ireland in the next fortnight as they warm up for the 2017 RBS 6 Nations.

The fixture against Spain will be played on Saturday 14th January (16:00 local time) in Villajoyosa in Alicante. Las Leonas claimed the final European place at this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup after beating Scotland on aggregate back in November.

Wales then face 2017 Women’s World Cup hosts Ireland on Sunday 22nd January (14:00). The match at Donnybrook Stadium in Dublin could also be seen as a dress rehearsal for the Six Nations encounter between Wales and Ireland at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday 11th March.

“After a successful autumn, the key thing for us is to keep the momentum and positivity going into the Six Nations, and these two fixtures can help with that,” says Wales Women head coach Rowland Phillips. “Spain are a very good side who have earnt their spot in the World Cup, so it’s a good opportunity to test ourselves against them.”

“We’ve had some fantastic encounters against Ireland in the recent past. Playing them in Donnybrook will be a good challenge, especially since we face them in Cardiff just over a month later.”

The team has been undergoing pre-Six Nations testing following a block of training before Christmas, something which Physical Performance Lead James Nolan says has brought about a significant improvement in the physical qualities of the players.

“Whilst the testing is not a direct indicator of a rugby player’s ability, it allows us to assess where their physical performance currently lies, and areas that need training attention prior to a rigorous Six Nations tournament,” Nolan says. “It’s also a time for players that have committed to their own outside training schedules to demonstrate the progress they have made.”

“Spain and Ireland represent two unique challenges in their own right, and knowing that the players are in the right place physically will allow us to demonstrate our rugby ability against two very good sides.”

Wales Women will formally announce their Six Nations squad in mid-January, and will host two hotly-anticipated matches at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park against England and Ireland.