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Gareth Davies preferred to Williams at scrum-half for Wales’ clash with France

Gareth Davies

Wales have named Gareth Davies and Ross Moriarty in their starting line-up aiming for a bounce back win against France in the Six Nations.

Head coach Wayne Pivac has made two changes to the side which last 24-14 to Ireland, dropping Tomos Williams and Aaron Wainwright to the bench.

Relying on home advantage to see them past an unbeaten France, Pivac back scrum-half Davies to be more than a match for rising French superstar Antoine Dupont.

“Gareth was unavailable round one and came off the bench last time out so he is full of energy and we are looking forward to him bringing his game on Saturday,” said Pivac.

“Ross has impressed off the bench so far and brought a lot of energy and communication as well so he deserves an opportunity to start.

“We have changed around the second-rows on the bench, we are looking at creating competition there and Will has trained well and we are looking forward to seeing him out on that stage.”

Dan Biggar and Josh Adams have both overcome medical issues to be passed fit for the match at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Northampton Saints fly-half Biggar exiting HIA protocols to complete a full week of training, while wing Adams has shaken off a hip injury.

On the bench, lock Will Rowlands stands in line to win a first cap for Wales as Jake Ball partners captain Alun Wyn Jones.

Pivac criticised his team’s ‘unacceptable’ handling errors for their loss in Dublin and will face a France side which impressed against England and Italy, but now hit the road for their first away match of the 2020 Six Nations.

Against the new generation of France youngsters who have lifted expectations of a first Six Nations title in a decade, Wales can call on 859 caps’ worth of experience – the most for a Six Nations match.

Wales v France (Saturday, Principality Stadium, 4:45pm kick-off):

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Dillon Lewis, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 6 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Johnny McNicholl

France: 15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont; 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Julien Marchand, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 5 Paul Willemse, 6 Francois Cros, 7 Charles Ollivon (capt), 8 Gregory Alldritt

Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Thomas Ramos

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