ST DAVIDS duo Jasmine Joyce and Lisa Neumann both started for Wales in their Women's Six Nations Championship opener in France at the weekend.

Bristol Bears winger Joyce, 25, and Sale Sharks winger Neumann, 27, are both former pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant, who have risen to the international stage.

It proved to be a very difficult start for the Wales Women, however, as a powerful French team ran in eight tries to notch an emphatic 53-0 victory in Vannes.

Having gone into the break trailing 31-0, Wales put up a much better showing in the second half, yet failed to score against France for the second year in a row.

Last season it was 50-0 in Cardiff – and a combination of French physicality and unforced errors saw the hosts race into a 21 point lead inside just 15 minutes.

Right wing Caroline Boujard picked up a quick hat-trick, and scrum half Pauline Bourdon converted all three scores in the opening quarter of an hour.

A routine catch and drive saw the hosts bag the bonus point before the break, with hooker Agathe Sochat claiming the honours at the bottom of the maul.

Number eight Emeline Gros scored two second-half tries, with from full-back Emilie Boulard and replacement hooker Laure Touye also adding late tries.

Fly-half Bourdon finished with 13 points from the boot - on a night to forget for new Wales head coach Warren Abrahams in his first game in charge.

"France played some exceptional rugby there, and for us it's about our attitude and effort, and there were some really good signs of that," said Abrahams.

"We learned some tough lessons out there, but we're still at the very beginning of our journey.

"There were some positive moments for us, but it's just about the consistency, and we didn't bring to life our attacking game out there."

Skipper Siwan Lillicrap said that Wales need to respond swiftly against Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.

“There was plenty of spirit, effort and positive attitude, but it was a difficult evening," she said.

"What we must do now is trust the process and our systems and take a look at ourselves.

“That type of scoreline is tough to accept, and there is no hiding from that, there is a lot of emotion in the squad.

“We have to trust in what Warren (Abrahams) and the management are trying to bring in because it is exciting, and it is a change.

“Things don’t happen overnight, and we will learn from this and take a good honest look in the mirror and fix things.

“We have got to front up and get a platform to give ourselves some opportunities to attack against Ireland.

“The positive thing is we saw glimpses of that, but the challenge is to find a way to move forward and be consistent with it."