Wales team to face France in Six Nations named

Warren Gatland has named his Wales team to face France on Friday night. Mike Phillips has been dropped, with Rhys Webb earning his first start. Winger George North will play at centre.

View all 6 updates ›

Gatland: Rhys Webb 'gives us a different dimension'

Rhys Webb will make his first start for Wales against France, having been chosen ahead of long-term first-choice scrum half Mike Phillips.

25-year-old Webb was in fine form as the Ospreys thrashed Treviso 75-7 on Sunday.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: "I thought Rhys played excellently for the Ospreys at the weekend and he comes in and gives us a different dimension, and it's a great opportunity for him."

Rhys Webb will win his fifth Wales cap against France at the Millennium Stadium. Credit: PA

Phillips has won 82 international caps, and was the first-choice scrum half for the Lions in Australia last summer, but was criticised in the media for his performance as Wales were heavily beaten by Ireland.

After defeat against Ireland, Wales need to beat France to stay in with a chance of winning a third Six Nations title in a row.

"Friday is a massive game for us", Gatland said. "As a squad we have a huge amount of experience in this tournament and we will be calling on that this weekend."

"We see the game as a huge opportunity for us to put things right."

"George [North] moves into the midfield and he brings great footwork to the role and we were impressed when he went there against Australia in the autumn. His partnership with Jamie will be important as we look to stop the directness of France and Mathieu Bastareaud."

More top news