Six Nations: Wales make four changes to face France as Josh Navidi, Jonathan Davies, Seb Davies and Gareth Thomas come in

Wales host France on Friday evening at the Principality Stadium; the match has an 8pm kick-off before Italy take on Scotland and England meet Ireland on Saturday

Last Updated: 09/03/22 2:42pm


Josh Navidi returns as one of four Wales changes in their side to face France

Wales have made four changes to their side to face France in Cardiff on Friday as Josh Navidi, Jonathan Davies, Seb Davies and Gareth Thomas all come in.

Back row Navidi, who was a key man in Wales’ success of recent years, has been absent from their Six Nations campaign so far due to a shoulder injury, and comes in at openside in place of Taine Basham.

The experienced Jonathan Davies comes in at centre to partner Owen Watkin in midfield, with Saracens’ Nick Tompkins – a try scorer at Twickenham – not considered for selection after he sustained a concussion in victory over Leicester Tigers.

Jonathan Davies starts at centre with Nick Tompkins ruled out

Jonathan Davies starts at centre with Nick Tompkins ruled out

The back row is further reshuffled at blindside flanker as Ross Moriarty drops to the bench and Seb Davies comes in to start, with Taulupe Faletau starting again at No 8.

Loosehead Thomas’ inclusion is the final change – he replaces Wyn Jones, who drops to the bench.

Tighthead Tomas Francis and wing Josh Adams are both included, having come through the return to play protocols for concussions.

Wales' Tomas Francis starts after passing the return to play protocols for concussion

Wales’ Tomas Francis starts after passing the return to play protocols for concussion

Fly-half Dan Biggar captains the side again, with Tomos Williams keeping his place at at scrum-half once again, while Liam Williams and Alex Cuthbert remain part of an unchanged back three alongside Adams.

Among the replacements there are returns for tighthead Dillon Lewis and wing Louis Rees-Zammit.

Loosehead Wyn Jones, hooker Dewi Lake, and back-row Jac Morgan are the other forward replacements, while Kieran Hardy and Gareth Anscombe provide half-back cover.

“Josh [Navidi] is a fantastic player and has played well for us in the past. He’s come straight back into the side before, so having 80 minutes under his belt for Cardiff we think that’s enough for him. We look forward to him being back out there bringing that experience,” head coach Wayne Pivac said.

“He’s a very good player and has played at this level on many occasions so that’s going to be great for us.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is delighted with the return of Navidi to the side

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is delighted with the return of Navidi to the side

“Seb [Davies] at six just gives us a little bit more size. It helps the lineout, but also in the wider channels where he often runs he’s got the skillset to trouble a few defenders out wide.

“I think Gareth [Thomas] made a really big impact for us last week as did a number of players and so he gets to start. Wyn will finish the game this time as opposed to starting it.

“France are the in-form team in the world at the moment. Any team that can score 40 points against New Zealand – plus having recently beaten Ireland in this competition – are going to be hard to beat. They have players a number of world-class players and are a big side that will test us physically and at the set piece.”

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Josh Adams; 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams; 1 Gareth Thomas, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Will Rowlands, 5 Adam Beard, 6 Seb Davies, 7 Josh Navidi, 8 Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Ross Moriarty, 20 Jac Morgan, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit.



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