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Wales line up friendly with World Cup hosts New Zealand

05 May 2022 2 minute read
Wales’ Natasha Harding. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Gemma Grainger’s Cymru will take on New Zealand, next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts, in an international challenge match on 28 June in the Pinatar Arena in Spain.

The two sides last met in June 2019, when a Kayleigh Green goal secured the 1-0 win for Cymru in drizzly conditions at the Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff.

New Zealand, currently ranked 22nd in the world, will be hosting next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside Australia.

Cymru, 31st in the latest world rankings, are currently sitting in second place in their Qualifying Round group in the bid to reach the tournament down-under and will hope to secure a play-off spot with two matches remaining, away to Greece and home to Slovenia.

Wales coach Gemma Grainger said: “This is a great opportunity for our preparation ahead of the final qualifying round group matches in September.

“This is the next step in the growth of the team. New Zealand are a higher ranked opposition, and we want to continue with that mentality of challenging ourselves in different ways.

Wales kept alive their hopes of a Women’s World Cup qualification play-off place last month as Natasha Harding marked her 100th cap with a goal in a comfortable win away to Kazakhstan.

With France in charge of Group I, Wales are competing with Slovenia and Greece for second place.

Wales are yet to reach the finals of a major tournament.

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