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Wales centurion Louise Rickard eyes new World Cup role

Louise Rickard
105-cap Rickard is contemplating a new position at the age of 39

Wales Women's most-capped player, Louise Rickard, is hoping for World Cup selection in a new position.

The world's most-capped player Rickard, 39, has made 105 appearances as a wing or a full-back.

But the Warrington-born veteran, who plays for local team Woodbridge Amazons in Suffolk, is hoping to secure one of three remaining Wales places as a lock.

"Competition in the back three has grown steadily over the last year or so," said Wales coach Jason Lewis.

"Lou and I have spoken. She still remains a very good rugby player. It's just about where in the team can she be accommodated, if at all.

"She's always been a very fit individual. She has the mental fitness without question, she is very powerful, but can she jump?

There are six players who have to continue to show us they are worthy of a place

Wales coach Jason Lewis

"We need to find out and if she can she could find a place in the second row."

Lewis has named 23 of the 26 available spots, with six players battling it out for the remaining three positions for the World Cup squad.

Mellissa Berry and Jamie Kift are co-captains for the two-week tournament to be held in London from 20 August to 5 September.

Wales have been drawn against holders and favourites New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, 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.

In a Wales squad which Lewis says is a balance of youth and experience, he has selected six players from the Wales Under-20 squad with another - full-back Kerin Lake - on the list of possibles.

Hooker Lowri Harries, prop Alex Stokes, second-row Shona Powell-Hughes, back-row Sioned Harries and centre Adi Taviner have taken their chances to impress the Welsh coaches in a bid to force their way in.

"The thought process behind that is that we think there are 23 definites who showed through their performances recently they are worthy of their place," said Lewis.

"There are six players who have to continue to show us they are worthy of a place - so it's up to those six players to put their hands up to gain one of the two places."

Wales Women's World Cup squad:

Forwards: Jenny Davies (Waterloo/ Blues), Lowri Harries (UWIC/ Blues), Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins/ Scarlets), Alex Stokes (Neath Athletic/ Ospreys), Rhian Bowden (UWIC/ Dragons), Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun/ Blues), Shona Powell-Hughes (Neath Athletic/ Ospreys), Rachel Taylor (Cardiff Quins/ Ospreys), Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins/ Blues), Jamie Kift (capt) (Bristol Ladies/ Dragons), Sioned Harries (UWIC/ Scarlets), Lisa Newton (UWIC/ Ospreys).

Backs: Amy Day (Bristol Ladies/ Dragons), Laura Prosser (Cardiff Quins/ Blues), Awen Thomas (Unattached/ Scarlets), Naomi Thomas (Cardiff Quins/ Scarlets), Mared Evans (UWIC/ Dragons), Clare Flowers (Bristol Ladies/N/A), Ceri Redman (UWIC/ N/A), Mellissa Berry (Blaydon/ N/A), Caryl James (Cardiff Quins/ Scarlets), Non Evans (Cardiff Quins/ Scarlets).

Possibles (three to be selected) from: Hannah Roberts (prop) (UWIC/Dragons), Louise Rickard (second-row) (Woodbridge/ N/A), Caryl Thomas (prop) (Bath Ladies/ Dragons), Kerin Lake (full-back) (Neath Athletic/ Ospreys), Elen Evans (centre) (Dolgellau/ Scarlets), Elinor Snowsill (back) (Loughbourgh/ N/A).

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see also
Wales rally after World Cup shock
26 Nov 09 |  Welsh
England's women delight rugby HQ
24 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
England Women beat world champs
21 Nov 09 |  English
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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