Spain’s preparations for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 continue this weekend with a match against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

Las Leonas, who beat Hong Kong 41-18 in a test in Valladolid last month (pictured), sit three places above their hosts in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings in seventh and will use the behind closed doors match to help coach José Antonio Barrio finalise his squad of 28 for Ireland 2017.

Barrio already has 14 of the 16 forwards he plans to take set in his mind, but in the backline there are plenty of opportunities for players to force their way into the selection frame.

"Wales is a team within our standard and they lie between Italy and the USA so we will use the game in Cardiff to continue working on the squad and to help decide on the 28 players we'll take to Ireland," explained Barrio.

"We have not been able to work with the sevens girls and they now have their chance to prove themselves."

Final preparations

Spain's squad for WRWC 2017 will be announced on 22 July and they will have the honour of kicking off the tournament when they face defending champions England at UCD Bowl in Dublin on 9 August.

Barrio's side will also face USA and Wales in Pool B as they target a top seven finish, two places higher than they managed in the 2014 edition in France.

"England are on a different level to ours and we know our chances really lie in the two other games," admitted Barrio. "The way we perform against the defending champions will be important in how we move forward for the games against USA and Italy."

Spain will travel to Ireland early to complete their WRWC 2017 preparations in Cork for a four-day camp at which they are hoping to have some training sessions with host nation Ireland.

“We have a very good working relationship with them, having already had joint sevens training camps,” explained Barrio. “We will arrive in Cork on July 28th and we told them our idea of training together. We still have to discuss with them their needs and ours and see how we can fit ours to the benefit of both teams.”