The under-21 side have a magnificent record in matches played in the
Northern Hemisphere, having won 35 and lost only ten since their
opening fixture against Scotland at Wrexham in 1987.
Their win by 38-36 against Ireland at Donnybrook a fortnight ago was
their fourth successive away match, of which three have been won. It
will be the ninth match against France at this level with Wales leading
5-3 on victories.
Scrum half Michael Phillips and lock Luke Tait come into the side and
another scrum half Chris Miller, currently on loan to Rumney, joins the
replacements bench. Fly half Gavin Henson is the second-highest scorer
for Wales in under-21 matches with 56, following Stephen Jones
(Llanelli), who totalled 71.
Team: 15 Gareth Swales (Swansea); 14 Liam Roberts (Cardiff), 13 Hal
Luscombe (Newport), 12 Matthew Brayley (Swansea, capt), 11 Nicky Jones
(UWIC); 10 Gavin Henson (Swansea), 9 Michael Phillips (Llanelli);
1 Paul James (Neath), 2 Adam Matthews (Neath), 3 Adam Jones (Neath),
4 Luke Tait (Cardiff), 5 Bryn Griffiths (Llanelli), 6 Rhys Williams
(Ebbw Vale), 7 Gareth Williams (Llanelli), 8 Rhys Jones (UWIC).
Replacements: 16 Matthew Miles (Northampton), 17 Phil John (Llanelli),
18 Ceiron Jones (Llanelli), 19 Damian Hudd (Ebbw Vale), 20 Aled
Gravelle (Llanelli), 21 Chris Miller (Cardiff), 22 Nicky Robinson
The under-19 side has had three close calls this season, but lost to Australia at Swansea, New Zealand at the South Wales Police ground and
England at Twickenham. They face more tough opposition in France at
Stradey Park, Llanelli.
Matthew Nuthall switches from wing to full back, Richard Payne moves
to wing and Gavin Evans returns at centre, while Nick MacLeod, who
finished the match at Twickenham will now start at fly half.
In the pack, Richard Pugh returns as flanker and Ioan Ohlssen, who was
also a replacement against England, continues as tight-head prop.
Team: 15 Matthew Nuthall (Pontypridd); 14 David Tame (Cardiff), 13
Gavin Evans (Llanelli), 12 Lee Thomas (Cardiff), 11 Richard Payne
(Newport); 10 Nick MacLeod (Cardiff), 9 Rhodri Wells (Christ College);
1 Ian George (Newport), 2 Huw Bennett (Swansea), 3 Ioan Ohlssen
(Swansea), 4 Jonathan Mills (Colstons School), 5 Luke Charteris
(Newport), 6 Ioan Cunningham (capt, LLanelli), 7 Richard Pugh
(Swansea), 8 James Malpas (Cardiff).
Replacements: 16 Adam Yelland (Llanelli), 17 David Maddocks (Llanelli),
18 Nathan Williams (Llandovery College), 19 David Tovey (Newport),
20 Richard Morgan (Aberavon), 21 Matthew Jones (Maesteg), 22 Mark
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Welsh Rugby Union has recently teamed up with Prostate Cymru to help the charity launch its latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Members of the Wales squad helped produce a short video and promotional material for the campaign titled 'The Best Defence - is to know the FACTS'.