Rowland Phillips praises young Welsh Women’s Rugby team

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Rowland Phillips praises young Welsh Women's Rugby team
CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 17: Head Coach Rowland Phillips of Wales during the Women's Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park on March 17, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Following Wales’ bonus-point victory over Ireland at the Arms Park, Wales women’s rugby teams head coach Rowland Phillips praised his young team, and looked at how vital the girl’s clusters system will be for Welsh women’s rugby going forwards.

Following up on Scotland success was vital to Six Nations goals

Having won the game against Scotland in round four of the Six Nations Women’s Championship, Rowland Phillips explained just how important it was to back that up. He told media, ”Just doubling up on the Scotland success last week. It’s great to have another win but the manner of the victory and the performance the girls put in with and without the ball on the back of the set piece [was good].

“So all the positive blocks are in place and it was important we put them into one performance and we did that today.

”The girls are really understanding the process and structures and that was a certain part of it, but we looked organised and dominant.”

Young talent thriving in positive ‘Cluster System’

Wales have utilized their youthful squad well this campaign, with many teenagers making appearances throughout the five-game women’s championship. 21-year-old Alisha Butchers took the ‘Woman of the match’ award and looking at their youthful squad Rowland Phillips said,

”We started that process really early. There are people in the team, like Alisha Butchers and Keira Bevan who are still young players and look like they’ve been around a lifetime.

”To be able to develop the real new crop of players coming through – plus there’s more just finishing the U18s regional programme – so it’s really positive and exciting as we keep building Welsh women’s rugby.”

With two wins and a draw to their name, Phillips has labeled the tournament as a success. ”It was important we showed we’re competing against the big hitters, but also that we could impose ourselves and get results against teams outside that block.

“We’ve got to look back and say this has been a successful Six Nations.”

Rowland Phillips praises young team and Welsh cluster system

Clusters rugby has taken off in Wales, with hundreds of girls participating in competitive and regular rugby. This has helped the women’s game so far – the Six Nations team including young girls who can be mentors and icons that young players can look up to. And Phillips believes it’ll help close the gap to nations such as England.

”The reason why are so far ahead is not that they’re paid – that helps – but it’s because they’ve got so many players participating. This is a real positive place in Wales where the support and development of these clusters and players coming through.

”We’ve already seen some players come through in the short term, but in the long term, we’re going to see a lot more players coming through. I think then we can start seriously closing the gap

”It’s not just coaching the players, but collectively as coaches, we can be part of this. The girl picking up the ball in the clusters for the first time we have to make sure she can see the end of the path which is playing for Wales. It’s important to get the right messages through and deliver sessions so the whole program has a momentum feel to it.”

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2019 Six Nations Women’s Championship results

 

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