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Wales rally after World Cup shock

Non Evans (far left) at the Women's Rugby World Cup launch in Twickenham
Non Evans (far left) at the Women's Rugby World Cup launch in Twickenham

By Sean Davies

Full-back Non Evans says Wales Women are gearing up for the 2010 World Cup, having overcome the initial shock of being given a true group of death.

Wales are drawn against holders and favourites New Zealand, Australia and South Africa for the two-week event.

"I was a bit gutted when I saw the draw, they are three tough games," said Evans, 34, who has 78 caps to her name.

"But it's exciting, my last World Cup. On the day it's 15 against 15 and we'll give anyone a run."

The tournament will be held in London from 20 August to 5 September, the early games and minor knock-out matches being played at Surrey Sports Park.


The semi-finals, third-place play-off and final will be staged at the Twickenham Stoop.

"There are three games in a week - and it usually takes me a week to recover from one match these days," said Evans, who helped Wales to their first Triple Crown in this year's Six Nations.

"It's going to be tough, but we have to fit the tournament around our jobs.

"There will be injuries and the strength in depth needs to show. We are fielding three new caps against Sweden this weekend, that will help the development."

New Zealand speak for themselves, they're the world champions. But England beat them - and we beat England

Non Evans

Having recovered from the disappointment of seeing the draw for the competition, Evans acknowledged that - New Zealand aside - the southern hemisphere challenge is not as formidable as in the men's game.

"South Africa are building and improving and had a recent draw with France," said Evans.

"We don't know so much about Australia as we see less of them, but they won the World Cup Sevens in Dubai.

"New Zealand speak for themselves, they're the world champions.

"But England beat them - and we beat England.

"I was glad when I looked closer at the draw and saw that we are playing New Zealand in the third pool game.

"They looked tired when they lost to England [10-3 at Twickenham on Saturday]. They are not used to playing as regularly as us and in a one-off game we can defeat anyone."

Highlights: Wales Women 16-15 England Women

Evans played a key role in Wales' first-ever win over England, kicking the decisive last-minute penalty in February's 16-15 Six Nations clash.

She knows her team will be facing an England XV thirsting for revenge when the two sides meet in this season's Women's Six Nations opener in February, and in two summer World Cup warm-up games.

"We've never beaten England away, that would be huge for us," said Evans.

"We want a really good Six Nations to build for the Cup, hopefully we'll have some key players back from injury to help."

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see also
England's women delight rugby HQ
24 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
England Women beat world champs
21 Nov 09 |  English
Wales claim Women's Triple Crown
21 Mar 09 |  Welsh
England Women win to retain title
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales Women 16-15 England Women
14 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales women off to winning start
08 Feb 09 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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