Leah Wilkinson has told Wales to use their experience when they face a young French side in a three-test series in Cardiff this weekend.
The defender is set to become the most capped hockey player in Welsh history at the National Hockey Centre on Saturday when she will surpass Paul Edwards’ record of 157 appearances.
But Head Coach Kevin Johnson also has three players who should reach the magic 100 Club this weekend with Sian French on 97 caps, Jo Westwood on 98 and Phoebe Richards who is one away from the century mark.
Wales will be using the games – being streamed live by S4C – are vital preparation for June’s FIH Open Series finals in Valencia and the European Championships in Glasgow in August.
“We have not had a home test series for a long time now so it’s a good opportunity,” said Wilkinson. “We have got three people getting their 100th cap in each game which is pretty unusual.
“The French are decent but last year they dropped all their players who were over the age of 25 or something. They are trying to prepare for Paris 2024 so we’ll be playing against a really young team.
“I am sure in a few years they will be a real force, but at the minute they are missing that little bit of experience in the team.”
Wales faced France in a three match series in Antibes in March losing the first two games 2-1 before finishing by hammering their opponents 5-0.
“We just lost the test series which was disappointing as we shouldn’t have lost it,” added Wilkinson.
“Things didn’t quite click, but we’ve learnt a lot of lessons and the last game we won very convincingly. I’m hoping we can step-up.
**S4C will be live streaming all three matches from the National Hockey Centre at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens.
The first test will be played on Friday 31 May, with pushback at 6.00pm, while the second gets underway at 5.00pm the following day, Saturday 1 June. The concluding test takes place at 11.00am on Sunday 2 June.
Coverage of all three matches will be streamed live on the S4C website, s4c.cymru, the S4C Chwaraeon Facebook page (with Welsh-language commentary), and the S4C Youtube page (with English-language commentary). Whisper Films will produce the coverage for S4C.
Owain Gwynedd and former Wales men’s international player Dafydd Thomas will provide Welsh language commentary for the three matches. Former hockey International Beth Fisher, who retired in 2017, will be behind the microphone to provide commentary for S4C’s English language feed. She will be joined by former Wales and GB international Sarah Thomas.
Live Hockey – Women’s: Wales V France
1st Test – Friday, 6.00pm; 2nd Test – Saturday, 5.00pm; 3rd Test – Sunday, 11.00am
Available to watch live at S4C Clic, Facebook Live and the S4C Youtube page