WALES head coach Rowland Phillips has included five Dragons in his squad for this year’s Women’s Six Nations.

The 36-strong party includes forwards Cerys Hale and Meg York are joined by backs Elinor Snowsill, Gemma Rowland and Rebecca De Filippo.

Wales begin the tournament by welcoming Scotland to Colwyn Bay’s Stadiwm Zip World on Friday, February 9, prior to the corresponding men’s under-20 fixture at the same venue.

The women will play all their home fixtures in this year’s Six Nations in North Wales, with the exception of the game against Italy.

That takes place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Sunday, March 11 as part of a double-header with the men’s game.

The Dragons quintet feature in a squad containing 10 uncapped players in forwards Natalia John, Amy Thomas, Cara Hope, Beth Lewis and Awen Prysor, and backs Alecs Donovan, Hannah Bluck, Jade Knight, Lisa Neumann and Angharad De Smet.

Phillips said of the new players: “They’ve brought a real hunger and energy to training which is infectious. There’s a fresh feel to the squad and a sense of building for the long term.”

Each player in the squad, with the exception of flanker Prysor, has been part of Wales Women’s One Programme, dovetailing 15s and sevens, for the past two months.

“The younger players have played the game a lot longer now,” added Phillips, whose side play Ireland in a friendly in Ystrad Mynach on Sunday (kick-off 1pm).

“We’re seeing 18 year olds who have played rugby for the past six or seven years, where in previous years they might have converted from different sports or taken up the game from an older age.

“It reflects the growth of the game in Wales.

“The exciting thing for us as coaches is that we’re identifying players outside of this squad who we can see have great potential, whether that’s at regional U18 or regional senior level.

“Those youngsters are allowing us to forward plan as we build towards the 2021 World Cup.”

The naming of 36 players takes into account the seven individuals who will miss the first round of Six Nations games due to sevens duty in Brisbane, as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games this April.

Wales have also named a development team of six who will train with the senior squad throughout the tournament.

This group features Dragons duo India Berbillion and Liliana Podpadec.

Phillips said: “Their presence will reinforce the squad. Even though they may not quite be ready for Six Nations rugby, they are players who we feel will benefit from working alongside the squad as part of their development.”

Wales Women’s Six Nations squad: Forwards – A Butchers (Scarlets), A Evans (Ospreys), A Thomas (Ospreys), A Prysor (Cardiff Blues), B Lewis (Scarlets), C Hope (Ospreys), C Thomas (Scarlets), C Phillips (capt) (Ospreys), C Hale (Dragons), G Pyrs (RGC), K Jones (Ospreys), M York (Dragons), M Clay (Ospreys), N John (Ospreys), N E Davies (Scarlets), S Powell-Hughes (Ospreys), S Harries (Scarlets), S Lillicrap (Ospreys).

Backs – A Donovan (Ospreys), A De Smet (Scarlets), E Snowsill (Dragons), F Lewis (Scarlets), G Rowland (Dragons), H Bluck (Cardiff Blues), H Jones (Scarlets), J Knight (Scarlets), J Joyce (Scarlets), J Kavanagh-Williams (RGC), J Evans (Scarlets), K Lake (Ospreys), L Neumann (Scarlets), L George (Scarlets), R De Filippo (Dragons), R Nokes (Ospreys), R Parker (Cardiff Blues), R Wilkins (Ospreys).

Development players: A Morgan (Scarlets), I Berbillion (Dragons), K Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), K Thicker (Scarlets), L Podpadec (Dragons), T Davies (RGC).