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Wednesday Mar 6, 2024

Warren Gatland makes bombshell selections for France match

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has made two crucial changes to his side that lost to Ireland for their clash with France on Sunday afternoon.

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Dropping the experienced centre pairing of Nick Tompkins and George North from the match day-23, Gatland has opted for a combination of Joe Roberts and Owen Watkin in the midfield.

For the 23-year-old Roberts, this will be his first Six Nations start, having made his debut in last year’s Rugby World Cup warm-up against England.

Elsewhere captain Dafydd Jenkins has made the positional switch from secondrow to blindside flanker as Gatland looks to go for a beefed up pack to counter the French power.

In Jenkins place, Will Rowlands will partner Adam Beard in the secondrow as Alex Mann drops to the bench.

Speaking about the changes, 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.

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“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.

“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.”

Wales: C Winnett (Cardiff); J Adams (Cardiff), J Roberts (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys), R Dyer (Dragons); S Costelow (Scarlets), T Williams (Cardiff); G Thomas (Ospreys), R Elias (Scarlets), K Assiratti (Cardiff), W Rowlands (Racing 92), A Beard (Ospreys), D Jenkins (Exeter, capt), T Reffell (Leicester), A Wainwright (Dragons).

Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), C Domachowski (Cardiff), D Lewis (Harlequins), A Mann (Cardiff), M Martin (Cardiff), G Davies (Scarlets), I Lloyd (Scarlets), M Grady (Cardiff).

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