WALES Women suffered a pre-Six Nations blow when number eight Sioned Harries was injured in their tournament warm-up against Ireland in Dublin.

There was plenty of encouragement for boss Rowland Phillips from the clash at Energia Park, formerly Donnybrook, despite a 29-19 loss.

Wales scored three tries with good forward play leading to hooker Kelsey Jones crossing in the first half and then speedster Jasmine Joyce raced over for two counter-attack scores after the break.

However, back row forward Harries suffered an ankle injury and the 55-times capped forward will be assessed this week ahead of the Six Nations, which starts against Montpellier a week on Saturday.

“Sunday's match against Ireland Women was a very positive exercise as part of our Six Nations preparation," said Phillips.

“It was good to remind ourselves of the intensity of international rugby, especially in the contact area, and was an excellent hit-out for all involved.

“The only negative was losing Sioned Harries to injury and we are awaiting further assessment this week.

“The game itself required a big defensive effort in the first half. We went in 15-7 down at half-time after a try for Kelsey Jones following some good forward play, converted by Robyn Wilkins.

“We produced some good counter-attack play after the break, leading to two quick tries for Jazz and Robyn adding another conversion to take us into a 19-15 lead.

"Sioned is a key player and her injury stopped the game for a period. After that we lost our momentum in the game.

“We need to work on our discipline as, at times, we failed to capitalise on pressure we put on Ireland and gave away penalties at key moments. We can't afford to do that when we come up against France.”

The French won the Grand Slam last season and are ranked third in the world.

"We've watched their games against New Zealand in the autumn and we know they're going to be a formidable challenge but we are all excited by it,” said Phillips.

“By all accounts, there's going to be a fantastic atmosphere in Montpellier with a huge crowd. We're certainly not the finished article and it's going to be another step up from the autumn but if we are ambitious as a team, these are the Tests we need to front up to.

“It will be difficult but very rewarding if we produce a performance to be proud of."