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
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.