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Wales welcome France to Millennium Stadium in the third round of the Six Nations. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 3:30am (AEDT).
This should be a fantastic match with games being traditionally tight affairs between the two teams. Wales have been victorious in the last four out of five matches between the countries, both home and away. However, these games have been close and have not extended past nine points differential in those games.
So far, France are two wins from two games in the 2020 Six Nations and are on top of the table. The French have played both games in Paris and will be tested in their first away fixture this year. The Shaun Edwards coached defence has produced very good stats so far in the tournament.
There has been talk pregame about how impressive the French defensive system is.
Second rower, Bernard Le Roux, leads the Six Nations tackle count and the French team overall have the most dominant tackles in the tournament so far. But this is France. Consistently inconsistent, they are just as likely to implode as to produce absolute brilliance.
They were impressive against England in round one and underwhelmed against Italy in round two with a scrappy 35-22 victory. This will be a big test for a young team in a hostile environment, where traditionally they have not tasted much success. Wales’ talk in the lead up has also annoyed the French with recent calls of disrespect. This could very much motivate the French like it did with the game against England.
Galthies has opted to make four changes to his squad seeing Sekou Makalou, Cyril Cazeaux, Baptiste Couilloud and Julien Heriteau all missing selection. Vincent Rattez, the French winger, is injured with a broken leg and is out for the tournament. Luckily Damian Penaud returns on the wing as his replacement. They also welcome back Virimi Vakatawa into the starting lineup, who was impressive against England in round one. Camille Chat also returns at reserve hooker.
Dan Biggar has recovered from his concussion and is at flyhalf for Wales. Two changes to the starting lineup, with Gareth Davies reinstated as halfback, and Ross Moriarty starting in the backrow with Aaron Wainwright shifting to the bench. Will Rowlands has also been selected on the bench to potentially make his debut.
This is difficult to pick as we just don’t know which French team will turn up on the day. Has Galthie found the key to unlock French consistency?
France to start well with some great attack surprising the home team. Wales to finish strongly at home to grind out a close victory. This could go either way.
Wales by 3
When: 3:30am (AEDT)
Where: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
TV: beIN Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel GO, beIN connect
Odds: Wales $1.50, France $2.61
Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones, Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Josh Adams, Hadleigh Parkes, Nick Tompkins, George North, Leigh Halfpenny
Reserves: Ryan Elias, Rob Evans, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, Aaron Wainwright, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Johnny McNicholl
Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Bernard le Roux, Paul Willemse, Francois Cros, Charles Ollicon, Gregory Alldritt, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Gael Fickou, Arthur Vincent, Virimi Vakatawa, Teddy Thomas, Anthony Bouthier
Reserves: Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Mathieu Jalibert, Thomas Ramos