|Emblem||The Prince of Wales's feathers|
|Union||Welsh Rugby Union|
|Head coach||Ioan Cunningham|
|World Rugby ranking|
|Current||6 (as of 4 September 2023)|
|Highest||3 (24 August 2009)|
| Wales 4–22 England |
(Pontypool, Wales; 5 April 1987)
| Germany 0–77 Wales |
(Barcelona, Spain; 17 May 2002)
| Wales 0–81 England |
(Cardiff, Wales; 4 February 2005)
|Appearances||6 (First in 1991)|
|Best result||4th place, 1994|
|*Change from the previous week|
The Wales women's national rugby union team (Welsh: tîm rygbi'r undeb cenedlaethol merched Cymru) first played in 1987. Wales plays in the Women's Rugby World Cup and the Women's Six Nations Championship.
As far back as the nineteenth century, the Welsh game was a notable for the high levels of female interest. As such, the newly constructed stand at Cardiff Arms Park had to be renovated for "the comfort of the ladies", with another reporter stating that "fully a third" of the spectators at Stradey Park, Llanelli were female. In 1905, an English journalist from the Daily Mail reporting on The Original All Blacks game against Newport RFC at Rodney Parade, reported: "The average woman in Newport, judging from the expert feminine criticisms punctuating Saturday’s play, apparently knows as much of the science of rugby as any man."
While it is still a subject of debate as to when the first female Welsh teams played, women's rugby would gain great prominence during the First World War, as many male players were called into service. One of the most notable matches took place at Cardiff Arms Park on 16 December 1917, when Cardiff Ladies (made up entirely of workers from Hancocks Brewery) beat Newport Ladies 6–0. Maria Eley played full-back for Cardiff and went on to become probably the oldest women's rugby player before she died in Cardiff in 2007 at the age of 106. A photograph of the Cardiff team is believed to be the oldest known image of a women’s rugby team and is part of the collection at Cardiff Rugby Museum.
The first official Wales Women team first played on 5 April 1987 when led by Liza Burgess, they took on an England Women side at Pontypool Park. Prior to 1987, Welsh players were selected to represent Great Britain with the first representative side featuring players from Wales running against France at Richmond Athletic Ground in 1986. Great Britain played as a team on several occasions until 1990, beating Italy in their final match. Wales have played England every year since 1987.
Wales hosted the first Women's Rugby World Cup in Cardiff in 1991 and since then they have participated in a further four of the five tournaments finishing fourth in 1994, their highest ever finish. The IRB adopted the competition in 1998, which was won by the New Zealand Black Ferns.
The Welsh Women's Rugby Union was created in 1994 charged with promoting and governing the development and practice of Women's Rugby in Wales; the other three home unions also took charge of their own administration effectively ending the function of the WRFU in the process. The WWRU also became affiliated to the Welsh Rugby Union at the same time.
The creation of four separate home unions for Women's Rugby in Great Britain also saw the introduction of the Women's Home Nations competition with the first set of internationals taking place in 1995. Wales Women's early years in the tournament saw victories only against Ireland Women . Wales Women also remain the only touring team from Wales to have won a Test series in South Africa, beating the Bokkies by two Test to nil back in 1994.
From 2004 to 2006 a policy of selecting only players based in Wales resulted in a series of poor results – and failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. When the policy was reversed the team immediately recorded their best Six Nations performance, with a victory over France in 2006, wins over Scotland in 2006 & 2007, ending a ten-year drought of wins against their Celtic opponents, and culminating with victory over England in 2009 on their way to a Triple Crown. The National 7s squad lifted the European 7s title in 2006, beating England in the final but narrowly failed to secure a place in the 2009 Rugby World Cup 7s. In 2007 Wales also re-entered the FIRA Championship, using the tournament to give tournament experience to its development team.
- Liza Burgess - Inducted into the 2018 World Rugby Hall of Fame.
- Rafiuke Taylor - In 2019, became Wales women's first ever dual code rugby international.
|Rugby World Cup|
|1994||3rd Place Playoff||4th||5||3||0||2||63||96|
|1998||11th Place Playoff||11th||5||3||0||2||181||75|
|2002||9th Place Playoff||10th||4||2||0||2||126||50|
|2006||Did not participate|
|2010||9th Place Playoff||9th||5||2||0||3||91||109|
|2014||7th Place Playoff||8th||5||1||0||4||48||147|
|2017||7th Place Playoff||7th||5||2||0||3||78||143|
(Full internationals only)
Correct as of 13 November 2021
- "Women's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
- Hitt, Carolyn (6 November 2021). "Carolyn Hitt: Wales Women contracts announcement might finally turn despair into hope for Welsh women's rugby". Wales Online. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
- Davies, D.E. (1975). Cardiff Rugby Club, History and Statistics 1876–1975. Risca: The Starling Press. pp. 70–71. ISBN 0-9504421-0-0.
- Rugby is the secret of 106-year-old's longevity, Penarth Times, 23 January 2006
- Maria remained a keen player until she married her husband, Hector, and concentrated on bringing up eight children. She attributed her longevity to a love of rugby and an aversion to cigarettes and alcohol. Away from rugby and family duties she chaired the senior citizens club at her native Cogan for 24 years and was still calling bingo until she was 101.
- "Historic day for England Women's Rugby". rfu.com. 5 April 2012. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Women's Rugby World Cup". RugbyFootballHistory.com. p. 1. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Southcombe, Matthew (3 November 2021). "Wales Women to be offered professional contracts for the first time". WalesOnline. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
- "Cunningham names Wales Women's squad for TikTok Six Nations". Welsh Rugby Union | Wales & Regions. 8 March 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
- "Liza Burgess: "The sky's the limit for women's rugby"". www.world.rugby. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
- "World Rugby - Hall of Fame". www.world.rugby. Retrieved 29 June 2022.