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First Minister meets Wales Women’s rugby squad ahead of the Six Nations

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First Minister Mark Drakeford will meet the Wales Women’s rugby squad today (Monday 21 March) ahead of the start of the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations Championship.

During the visit the First Minister will talk about the importance of increasing the numbers of women and girls participating in sport.

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The First Minister will attend the training session as they prepare for their first game of the tournament; away to Ireland on Saturday 26th of March.

Wales have named a 37 strong squad for the campaign led by captain Siwan Lillicrap.

The team’s preparations were boosted recently by the awarding of full-time contracts to 12 players with another 12 given part-time contracts.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said: “It’s great to meet the Wales Women’s Rugby team today and wish then pob lwc ahead of their Six Nations game on the weekend.

“The team are an inspiration and show what can be achieved through hard work, dedication and commitment.

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“It is vitally important we encourage more women and girls to participate in sport at every level.

“We need to make it easier for women and girls to have opportunities to play in grassroots sport across Wales.”

More than 5,000 women and girls in Wales are registered to play rugby this season, the highest number to date.

Siwan Lillicrap, Wales captain, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many women and girls taking up our sport.

“I didn’t have an opportunity to play rugby until I was 17, but now there’s a pathway to play from an early age through to senior rugby, and there’s so much enthusiasm to get involved which is brilliant to see.

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“It means so much to us as players to be able to fulfil our dream and become full-time athletes and ultimately we want to inspire younger girls, whether they go on to play international rugby or enjoy the benefits of the community game.”

Pippa Britton Vice Chair, Sport Wales said: “It’s important for us to get behind the Wales Women’s Rugby team.

“We know that having visible female role models at the highest levels in sport is so important, not only for encouraging other women and girls to take that first step into participation, but to also inspire them continue their interest and achieve their full potential.

“We wish the squad every success”.

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