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 Sevens are looking to re-group after a disappointing tournament last time out in South Africa. The next double leg in New Zealand and Las Vegas offers Gareth Williams a chance to redeem themselves.
Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was at Llandovery to see the conclusion of an entertaining Women's Regional championship where any one of three teams were in contention for title glory on the last day of action.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.