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Four changes for Wales and a positional switch for skipper Jenkins

By Liam Heagney
Wales celebrate Alex Mann's try versus England (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Warren Gatland has confirmed a Wales team to host France next Sunday in Cardiff that has four changes from the XV beaten by Ireland in Guinness Six Nations round three in Dublin.

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The Welsh lost out 7-31 at Aviva Stadium on February 24 and they now go in against the French at Principality Stadium with an entirely changed midfield and two more alterations in their pack.

In the backs, Joe Roberts will win his second Test cap when he pairs up with Owen Watkin. They take over from George North and Nick Tompkins, who started against the Irish and were believed to be fit for selection against the French.

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Up front, captain Dafydd Jenkins is named at blindside flanker for the first time and not at second row. This will allow Will Rowlands, a sub in Wales’ two most recent defeats, to make his first start of the 2024 Six Nations alongside Adam Beard in the second row. Alex Mann drops to the bench.

The remaining XV change is at hooker where Ryan Elias is promoted ahead of the benched Elliott Dee. Another alteration to the replacements sees Gareth Davies named as the back-up scrum-half in place of Kieran Hardy.

Fixture
Six Nations
Wales
24 - 45
Full-time
France
All Stats and Data

Gatland said: “There are a few changes to the team this week as there are some players that deserve an opportunity. It will be a tough, physical challenge from France on Sunday particularly up front.

“We know they will start hard and it is about us staying in the fight, having good line speed defensively and keeping our discipline. We are looking for an 80-minute performance.

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“We are excited to be back at home for our last two matches and looking forward to getting out in front of a passionate Welsh crowd this weekend.”

Wales (vs France, Sunday)
15. Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby – 3 caps)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 57 caps)
13. Joe Roberts (Scarlets – 1 cap)
12. Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 37 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 17 caps)
10. Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 10 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 56 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 28 caps)
2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 41 caps)
3. Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby – 5 caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 31 caps)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 54 caps)
6. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 15 caps, captain)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 16 caps)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 46 caps)

Replacements:
16. Elliot Dee (Dragons – 49 caps)
17. Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby – 9 caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 55 caps)
19. Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – 3 caps)
20. Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – 1 cap)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 75 caps)
22. Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets – 5 caps)
23. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 9 caps)

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Comments

2 Comments
E
Ed the Duck 128 days ago

Have got wales to win this! Really admire Gatlands plan, taking the risk and finding out which players rise in the test match heat, and which players melt. I guess he’s slightly fortunate that he’s got scope to do this whereas many other coaches probably wouldn’t get the latitude required when the team have lost 10/11 6N matches!!

Either way, it’s only a matter of time before he has got them welded together as a team and vastly over performing against the sum of their individual talents.

T
Turlough 129 days ago

Really looking forward to this. Wales can repeat the solidity against Ireland, get the discipline back and show more in attack with a few tricks thrown in they will make this a winnable contest. France will be looking to sharpen their finishing compared to the panicked efforts agaisnt Italy often missing gaping holes. Wales will need more in attack. Should be great. Come on Wales!

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