Hannah Jones wants broadcasters to do more to promote sport. Photo: PA/David Davies
Wales captain Hannah Jones has launched a furious attack on the lack of coverage of women's rugby on television and demands answers to why her team's match against the USA on Saturday is not being shown on any major channels.
The Colwyn Bay match is a warm-up for WXV, World Rugby's new global competition, which starts next month, but will not be shown on mainstream television.
It is the latest women's international match to be ignored by broadcasters after Telegraph Sport reported last week that the BBC had turned down the opportunity to show England's two September friendlies against Canada, despite both games being offered for free.
The news sparked outrage among the Wales team and comes just days after their fellow women's footballers aired their UEFA Nations League match against Denmark on BBC Wales, the country's main network.
An incensed Jones took umbrage at the non-existent television coverage at her press conference at Eirias Park on Thursday, deciding to address the issue before the media had a chance to ask her.
With her arms crossed and a wry smile, Jones said, “Sorry, before we start, just a message from the team, a question.” Why isn't our game being televised this weekend?
How Hannah Jones rose to the role of Wales captain. Here she is, heated, asking why there won't be any coverage of the Wales v USA match on TV this Saturday. A rather depressing indication of how she might be watching her fiancé in Wales' Indigo Prem is on 📺, but he can't watch it on the international channel pic.twitter.com/ejlLmba1ij
— Fi Thomas (@fi_tomas_) September 28, 2023
One journalist in the room confirmed that BBC Radio Wales would provide radio commentary of the match, before Jones turned to his laptop to address those dialed in remotely to the conference asking the same thing . question.
The 26-year-old was then informed that the Welsh Rugby Union would be broadcasting the match live on YouTube, which would also be available to watch on the S4C online platform.
Telegraph Sport understands Jones was fully aware of the matter. The WRU were due to broadcast the game before the press conference but wanted to use the opportunity to point out the glaring disparity in television coverage of men's and women's rugby.
“Okay,” he said. outside center Jones, whose fiancé, former Italy Under-20 international Dino Dallavalle, plays in the Welsh top flight for Llandovery. “For our part, we'd love to have it on TV and have little girls watching us.
“I can go and watch my fiancé play on [S4C on-demand service] S4 Clic tonight. He plays for the Indigo Welsh team, but he can't watch me play an international match [on TV]. This is just feedback from the team. This is very disappointing.”
Jones' team has become a regular fixture at BBC Wales during the Women's Six Nations in recent years and had their best finish at the tournament this year, finishing third.