JESS Roberts, a former pupil at Amman Valley Comprehensive School, said she was delighted to win her first senior cap for Wales at the weekend.

The Sale Sharks scrum-half made her Test debut when Warren Abrahams’ side faced France in Vannes on Saturday night in the first round of the 2021 Women’s Six Nations.

Roberts said that being named in the starting line-up for the first game - alongside another former Amman Valley pupil in Hannah Jones - was a huge honour.

“I don’t want to change my game too much, and want to play like I have done all season," said Roberts on her inclusion in the national squad.

“I’m still in a little bit of shock, but I know I’ve worked hard and been really committed at Sale and with Wales. It’s good to have quite a few of the Welsh girls at Sale too."

She added: “Warren (Abrahams) has pulled me to one side and given me confidence to play like I do for Sale. He said if I do, I’ll do really well.I want to stay focused, and the team has been training really well.

"I really want to do well for the team, I’m not just looking at my own performance.”

Roberts, who has also played football and hockey, is now a primary school teacher in Barnsley, but has never forgotten her roots.

“When I was in year 11 at Ysgol Dyffryn Amman, I started playing sevens and we did well at Rosslyn Park Sevens that year," she said.

"The school was very good at encouraging pupils to flourish in all sports.

"I went to Cardiff Met University where I started played fifteens, and met my partner Alix. We moved to Barnsley and now I work in a primary school there.

"I teach Welsh there, which is quite bizarre, but the children need a second language, so they asked me to teach some Welsh, and the kids love it!

“I played rugby for Barnsley for three or four seasons and then Sale Sharks came along in September. I gave it a go, and here I am playing for Wales, it’s unbelievable.”

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

Roberts showed glimpses of the talent she shows for Sale, but the visitors were always on the back foot.

Having gone into the break trailing 31-0, Wales put up a much better showing in the second half - but 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."