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WALES WOMEN CONQUER EUROPE

15 Jun 2006

Wales Women’s phenomenal season was rounded off this weekend as they were crowned Champions at the FIRA European 7s in Limoges, France.

In their first appearance at the tournament, Wales defeated England in the final to steal the title that their neighbours had held for the past two years.

The road to victory commenced on Friday when Wales defeated Switzerland 32-0 and Germany 20-7 before falling to England by just 7-0. This catapulted Wales into the Cup competition as 2nd seeds.

Despite the loss of Hayley Baxter (broken collar bone) in the final game of the first day’s competition, the now 9-player Wales squad took their opposition by storm. They kicked off in the knock-out stages with a quarter-final win 10-3 over Spain, before downing The Netherlands by 29-0 in the semi-final. With England pushing over Ireland 21-0 in the semis, the stage was set for a Wales v England finale.

Having lost to England in the pool stages, Wales were out to prove a point. Inspirational Captain Mel Berry pulled in Wales’ first try in the opening half, to put them 5-0 up at the break, but an English reply was not long coming as they secured 7 points shortly after the restart. A tense battle ensued, before Vice-Captain Clare Flowers crossed for Wales with just three minutes to go. Wales defiantly held on to the lead to secure victory and top off an outstanding season.

Throughout the tournament Wales put in some excellent team and individual performances, with Naomi Thomas being named FIRA Player of the Tournament.

Wales Squad

Hayley Baxter, Mellissa Berry, Sophie Edwards, Elen Evans, Clare Flowers, Jamie Kift, Rachel Poolman, Louise Rickard, Naomi Thomas, Kylie Wilson