Wales beat France in Six Nations

George North scored the only try in Paris, as Wales beat France 16-6. It put an end to a run of eight successive defeats for Wales, and got their Six Nations campaign off and running after the opening weekend defeat to Ireland.

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Wales prepare to take on France

Wales are preparing for their Six Nations fixture against France in Paris tomorrow.

Interim Head Coach, Rob Howley, announced his team yesterday, with Ryan Jones taking over as captain from injured Sam Warburton.

Wales will be hoping for a positive result, after their defeat against Ireland last weekend.

KO: 17.00

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France coach: team changes will counter 'Welsh blitz defence'

by Nick Hartley

France have made two changes to the side which lost 23-18 to Italy in the opening game of the Six Nations, ahead of this weekend's clash with Wales in Paris.

Coach Philippe Saint-André has brought powerhouse centre Mathieu Basteraud to partner Maxime Mermoz in midfield, while second row Jocelino Suta replaces Pascale Pape.

Frederic Michalak has retained the outside-half jersey, alongside scrum-half Maxime Machenaud.

Fritz had started the last seven matches for France, going back to last year’s Six Nations defeat in Cardiff, but will have to settle for a place on the bench, in a move that has been clearly directed to target the Welsh centre pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies.

It’s more of a strategic decision with regard to the Welsh blitz defence. We know Florian’s qualities, he’s started our last seven matches, he will come on and bring all his hard-hitting qualities.

We believe in this squad, now it’s up to us to get our heads down and prepare for a tough game against Wales.

– Philippe Saint-André, France coach

France v Wales: Ryan Jones to captain Wales

Three changes have been made to Wales' starting line-up ahead of Saturday's Six Nations match against France.

Ryan Jones will lead the side in place of injured captain Sam Warburton.

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BACKS: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North, Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips #FravWal

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FORWARDS: Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Andrew Coombs, Ian Evans, Ryan Jones (C), Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau #FravWal

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REPLACEMENTS: Ken Owens, Paul James, Craig Mitchell, Lou Reed, Aaron Shingler, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams #FravWal

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France v Wales: the French team in full

Team:

Y Huget (Toulouse); W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), M Mermoz (Toulon), M Bastareaud (Toulon), B Fall (Racing Metro); F Michalak (Toulon), M Machenaud (Racing Metro);

Y Forestier (Castres), D Szarzewski (Racing Metro), N Mas (Perpignan), J Suta (Toulon), Y Maestri (Toulouse), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), L Picamoles (Toulouse).

Replacements:

B Kayser (Clermont Auvergne), V Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), L Ducalon (Castres), R Taofifenua (Perpignan), D Chouly (Clermont Auvergne), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), F Fritz (Toulouse).

France make two changes to face Wales

Mathieu Bastareaud is one of two changes. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made two changes for Saturday's 6 Nations clash against Wales in Paris.

Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud replaces Florian Fritz, while Bastareaud's club colleague Jocelino Suta takes over from injured captain Pascal Pape in the second row.

'We are not in crisis, the tournament is still wide open'

Interim coach Rob Howley is due to name his side today for the RBS 6 Nations clash against France in Paris on Saturday. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny is confident last weekend's loss to Ireland is not a sign of things to come.

He said, "We are not in crisis. There is one game down and the tournament is still wide open.

"At the end of the day, we are the defending champions, and that means something. We have to go out and play like we are champions."

Interim coach Rob Howley is due to name his side today for the RBS 6 Nations clash against France in Paris on Saturday. Prop Paul James, hooker Richard Hibbard and flanker Justin Tipuric are all probable starters.

And there could also be a role for ex-Wales captain Ryan Jones, who is available again after recovering from a dislocated thumb.

If 70 times-capped Jones is recalled, then Andrew Coombs - an impressive Test debutant in the 30-22 Millennium Stadium defeat against Ireland last weekend - may miss out in what would be viewed as a horses-for-courses selection.

Tipuric, meanwhile, looks set to wear the number seven shirt, with skipper Sam Warburton moving to six, James replacing Gethin Jenkins and Hibbard taking over from Matthew Rees.

It is thought the back division will be unchanged, including another opportunity for Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar in Wales' number 10 shirt.

Form and history is stacked against Wales, given they have claimed only three away wins at France's expense since 1975 and not beaten another playing Test-playing country for 11 months.

The current run of eight successive defeats is Wales' worst results sequence in 10 years, and their latest French assignment immediately follows Les Bleus' shock defeat to Italy.

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