Spain and Wales have swapped places in the World Rugby Women's Rankings after Las Leonas enjoyed their first win in the fixture in 15 years.

Las Leonas improved their rating to 75.54 points on the back of a 1.19-point gain and take eighth place away from Wales as a result. 


Playing a high tempo brand of rugby, Spain ran out 29-5 winners in front of a crowd of 4,200 at Estadio Nacional Complutense in Madrid to back up their recent victory in South Africa. 

After overcoming a nervy start in which they had to defend resolutely, Las Leonas scored first-half tries through Olivia Fresneda and Beatrice Dóminguez, Patricia Garcia converting her second attempt, for a 12-0 interval lead.

Wales began the second half like the first, on top, but could still find no way through and tries from Lourdes Alameda, Anne Fernández de Corres and Anna Puig underlined Spain's overall superiority before centre Alecs Donovan scored a late consolation for the visitors.

Milestone match

Despite the result, it was a proud day for captain Carys Phillips, who led out the team on her 50th consecutive appearance for her country, as well as the eight debutants who took to the field for Wales.

“Spain were excellent in phases of the game. We had some good moments too. We started strongly and defended well, but they were able to capitalise on our errors, especially in the middle part of the game," said backs coach Gareth Wyatt.

“We knew it was going to be hard, but the important thing is that we are exposing players to this level of rugby. Spain are an excellent side and we cannot criticise our players today. However, looking at the next few weeks, we know we have to get better."

The Spain fixture was the first of four matches this November for Wales with matches against Scotland, Ireland and the Barbarians Women to come over the next few weeks.

With just over 24 points and 33 places between the teams, Sweden's 19-7 win over Finland in the Rugby Europe Women's Trophy had no impact on the rankings.