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France v Wales: teams

Justin Tipuric has been named at openside for Wales as they travel to Paris on Saturday in a crucial clash against France.

The Ospreys flanker takes over from skipper Sam Warburton who is ruled out of the game with a shoulder injury.

Wales have already lost their Grand Slam crown last weekend but could also be, just like France, out of contention for the Six Nations trophy in case of a second defeat in as many games.

Warburton’s forfait means Ryan Jones, who returns at blindside from a thumb injury, will captain the side after their 30-22 defeat to Ireland at the Millennium.

Up front, hooker Richard Hibbard replaces Matthew Rees in a third change to the side that lost to Ireland on 2 February.

Despite being under criticism after their poor display last Saturday, the Welsh back line is unchanged and will be looking for redemption at the Stade de France.

Meanshile, Toulon powerhouse centre Mathieu Bastareaud starts for the first time in three years coming off the bench to replace Toulouse’s Floriant Fritz in one of two changes from their shock 23-18 defeat in Rome.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has been forced to make a change of captain as Pascal Pape sustained a back injury against Italy on Sunday.

As a result, Bastareaud’s club-mate Jocelino Suta starts at lock while flanker Thierry Dusautoir regain the arm-band.

Saint-Andre explained his decision to pick Bastareaud over Fritz was more a tactical choice rather than a sanction to the Toulouse centre.

He said: “I told Floriant it wasn’t a sanction. It wasn’t him who conceded 16 turnovers. We win at 23, we lose at 23.

” it was more a tactical choice knowing the Welsh blitz defence. Also Mathieu played well against Jamie Roberts, who is vital to the Welsh attacking line, when they met in the Heineken Cup this season.

“We want to find some anger again and that will to go forward and Mathieu can bring us just that.

France: Yoann Huget (Toulouse); Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Benjamin Fall (Racing Metro); Frederic Michalak (Toulon), Maxime Machenaud (Racing Metro); Yannick Forestier (Castres), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing Metro), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan); Jocelino Suta (Toulon), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse); Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Theirry Dusautoir (Toulouse, Capt.), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse).

Replacements: Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Luc Ducalon (Castres), Romain Taofifenua (Perpignan), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Floriant Fritz (Toulouse).

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), George North (Scarlets); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Bayonne); Gethin Jenkins (Toulon), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys) Adam Jones (Ospreys); Andrew Coombs (Newport-Gwent Dragons), Ian Evans (Ospreys); Ryan Jones (Ospreys, Capt.), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Bath), Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs) , Olly Kohn (Harlequins), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

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