New Zealand

One change as Wales aim for Grand Slam with trip to France

DRAGONS’ Elliot Dee and Leon Brown have been named among the replacements as Wales look to complete the Grand Slam with their trip to France.

Head coach Wayne Pivac has made one change to his starting line-up from the win over Italy, with Adam Beard returning to the side.

Beard started the first three matches of the tournament, and he will come back in alongside Alun Wyn Jones – who will be making his 148th appearance for Wales.

Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis are named again in the front-row for Wales with Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau comprising the back-row.

Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar are named at half-back with Jonathan Davies and George North continuing their partnership in the midfield.

Josh Adams, Louis Rees-Zammit and Liam Williams make up the back-three.

“We are all looking forward to Saturday and to the finale of the Six Nations,” said Pivac.

“We are four from four to date but know this weekend will be a great challenge against a very good French side, but we are looking forward to it.

“We know we need to step up from our previous performances and we want to end the tournament with a performance we know we are capable of.

“We have had great continuity in selection throughout the tournament and that is shown once again with the selection for Saturday.”

Dee and Brown are joined by Nicky Smith on the bench, with Cory Hill and James Botham completing the forward replacements. Tomos Williams returns from injury to take his place on the bench alongside Callum Sheedy and Uilisi Halaholo.

Wales are four from four in the championship so far and top the table heading to Paris, however France still harbour hopes of winning the competition, despite losing last time out away to England. 

For this to happen, they need a bonus point win in both of their remaining games – after their match with Scotland was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in the French camp – while also not allowing Wales to earn a bonus point in Paris.

They have named an unchanged starting line-up from that 23-20 loss at Twickenham, however coach Fabien Galthie has made three changes on the bench.

Uini Atonio, lock Swan Rebbadj and centre Arthur Vincent come in for Damien Aldegheri, Cyril Caseaux and Cameron Woki.

Here are the line-up in full:

WALES: Liam Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

REPLACEMENTS: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, James Botham, Tomos Williams, Callum Sheedy, Uilisi Halaholo.

FRANCE: Brice Dulin, Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Gael Fickou, Damian Penaud, Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Willemse, Dylan Cretin, Charles Ollivon (captain), Gregory Alldritt

REPLACEMENTS: Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Uini Antonio, Swan Rebbadj, Anthony Jelonch, Baptiste Serin, Romain Ntamack, Arthur Vincent.

The game kicks off at 8pm on Saturday, and is being shown on BBC and S4C.

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