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
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.