WALES Women were forced to settle for a share of the spoils with Italy in Lecce after a Jasmine Joyce winner was ruled out.

It looked like Rowland Phillips’ side would be celebrating a famous victory when the Olympian went over in the 72nd minute after a sensational finish but the score was chalked off by the TMO.

The sevens speedster received an overhead pass from Elinor Snowsill just outside the Welsh 22 gave and showed pace and power to race to the posts for a stunning ‘try’.

However, the assist from replacement fly-half Snowsill was marginally forward, meaning that Wales had to settle for a draw that ends a run of five losses in the championship.

Nonetheless, it was a fine response to their record 52-3 defeat in France and was just the boost they needed before hosting England at the Arms Park on Sunday, 24 February.

Wales, who lost to Italy at Principality Stadium last year, dominated long periods of the first half before being forced to showcase their defensive courage, commitment and technique in the face of a second half onslaught from the home side.

Robyn Wilkins gave Wales a deserved lead after 37 minutes with a straightforward penalty and the visitor's held onto their lead until Michaela Sillari levelled things up on the hour.

Just prior to the penalty the Welsh defence had performed miracles to keep the rampaging Italian forwards at bay.

No 8 Siwan Lillicrap was named as the player of the match for her sterling efforts and she inspired the rest of the forwards to twice hold up the Italians over the Welsh line.

Snowsill, who came on at the start of the second half to win her 50th cap, also played a key part in the rearguard action.

Wales coughed-up a penalty in the 81st minute for hands in the ruck to give Italy one last shot at adding to their bonus-point victory in Scotland but Sillari failed from 35 metres.