By David Williams
Forer Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap who retired following the conclusion of the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup aged 35, with 51 caps to her name, has been appointed as the forwards coach of Wales Under-18s.
The dynamic backrower made her debut for Wales against Ireland in 2016 and had captained the since November 2019. Lillicrap was also one of the first 12 players who were awarded the historic full time deals in January 2021 by the WRU.
It is Lillicrap’s first step in international coaching, after earning her stripes coaching at Swansea University. The move strengthens the belief that Lillicrap may be on the road towards coaching the senior team one day.
🏉Former @WelshRugbyUnion Captain @SiwanLillicrap is named as part of Wales Women U18s Coaching team🏴 #TikTokW6N
— TikTok Women's Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) December 20, 2022
Former Wales backrow Catrina Nicholas-McLaughlin has been appointed as Wales U18 head coach for the season, assisted by Oli Wilson and Lillicrap as backs and forwards coaches respectively, all of whom were involved in the set-up last season.
Wales Women U18 will play their England counterparts at Rugby School on Sunday 5 March (1pm) as part of the 200-year celebrations of the birth of rugby at the school.
The match against England will be an important part of the side’s preparation for this season’s U18 Six Nations festival, to be held at Wellington College (April 7-16).
Liza Burgess, WRU Lead Female Age Grade Coach said, “It’s an honour to play this match, 200 years after William Webb Ellis famously picked up the ball and ran.
🏴 The Cymru Women U18 received their caps last night! It was great to welcome back the @Urdd contingent direct from 🇳🇿 New Zealand, croeso nôl i Gymru
👏 Llongyfarchiadau#WelshRugby pic.twitter.com/2XJl8p1oZG
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏴 (@WelshRugbyUnion) December 21, 2022
On the back of the other experiences our young players have benefitted from this year, from a successful inaugural U18 Six Nations to some of our players representing the Urdd at the World School Sevens last week, this is set to be another special opportunity.
We have been training as a wider squad throughout the autumn and the coaching team are looking forward to watching the Regional U18 matches in January and February before finalising our squad for this match and the U18 Six Nations festival.
Tickets for the England match will be on sale here and profits from ticket sales will be split between the Injured Players Foundation and the schools 1883 Bursary fund.