Six Nations 2016: Wales team to play France


Warren Gatland has announced the Wales team that will play France in the Six Nations at the Principality Stadium on Friday night. There are three changes from the side that beat Scotland in round two.

Alex Cuthbert returns to the back three in place of Tom James, while Dan Lydiate is also restored at the expense of Justin Tipuric, who drops to the bench. Bradley Davies comes into the engine room as Luke Charteris misses out with a knee injury – Jake Ball takes Davies’ spot amongst the replacements.

“We have made a couple of changes, one injury enforced with Luke (Charteris) missing out with a knee injury, but Bradley (Davies) deserves a starting spot as well so it’s a good opportunity for him,” said Gatland.

“We have made two other personnel changes with Alex (Cuthbert) and Dan (Lydiate) coming into the starting team. They have trained well and will suit the game France will potentially bring as well.

“We initially thought we would have to wait until later in the week to have a final update on injuries, but we know where we are earlier than expected and have told the squad, hence announcing today as well.

“It’s set to be another huge Six Nations weekend, France come to Cardiff unbeaten in the campaign so far and impressing under Guy (Noves). We are looking to continue our unbeaten run and will be looking for another step up after the victory over Scotland.”


Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, CAPT), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues).

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

19 thoughts on “Six Nations 2016: Wales team to play France

  1. Oh shite…. I could see this coming a mile off. James dropped because he didn’t score a try in his 2 chances, Cuthbert now given another chance despite not scoring in a gazillion matches.

    Losing Charteris to injury is a big blow – Bradley is excellent but a different sort of excellent, we’ll miss Charteris in mauls and lineouts and around the field.

    No surprise to see the old back row back in action really.

    1. I thought I just heard a collective groan from somewhere due west of here

      I agree on Charteris he “is” the welsh Maul defence without him its a weakness to exploit

  2. I am pleased to see a balance to the back row and as well as SW played at 6, he is not a 6. I know that there will be an outcry of injustice re JT but this selection imo brings the best balance to the backrow. Disappointed for Tom James and would have preferred to have seen him start over AC and would have expected to have seen him on the bench rather than RP. Lets hope AC has a blinder and justifies his selection ahead of TJ with a hat-trick in a winning Wales team.

  3. Cuthbert? Really? Was James THAT bad. I can hear Enoch combusting from here. Whilst I understand bringing Lydiate back for what will most likely be a very attritional match, should perhaps Warburton have made way rather than Tipuric?

    1. I do honestly think Tips is best off the bench against big back rowers. Warburton is more physical so he’s better starting.

      James wasn’t that bad…. (oh dear, another load of flowery tripe masquerading as insight on it’s way from Enoch now…).

  4. Shame about Charteris, I never used to rate him but he’s really come into his own recently. If he keeps up his recent form he could definitely be world-class

    Not suprised with the back-row, but agree with Benjit that if you select on form then SW should have made way for Lydiate. Difficult decision though and a bit of a shot in a dark given we know how well Lydiate and Warburton play together.

    Cuthbert’s selection is just more of the same old,same old. 1 try in his last 12 starts is not a great return

  5. It will be interesting to see how much France try to exploit Cuthberts defence down his wing. Especially if Vakatawa is playing?

  6. Whatever the quibbles /fears over this selection I really hope Wales do a number on France. The French have been uniformly awful and were a disgrace against Ireland.

    The Welsh have the physicality and individual and collective talent to right a few wrongs.

    1. Whether awful or a disgrace, they have still won. Winning ugly is just as important as winning. Don’t underestimate the French. They have the ability to surprise, especially when they have no right to!

      1. I was referring to their tactics off the ball. Rugby is a contact sport but has no place for the deliberate ad underhand targeting of players. I couldn’t give a stuff about France winning their two games so far. Foul play is foul play.

  7. I watched the Blues Vs Leinster game over the weekend. The try, against the run of play was Cuthbert’s fault. In an attempt to be useful, he counter rucked. The breakdown was tight against the nr touch line. His action, and attempt to look busy, created a huge hole at guard and created the opportunity for Leinster to develop the try. His intervention at the breakdown was absolutely unnecessary, and the sign of a player trying to be busy in an attempt to convince.

  8. Charteris is a big miss, has improved tremendously in the past 18 months & is pivotal to the maul & line-out. Happy to see JD has made it although I believe he has been below par so far, if James had to be replaced I would have preferred Amos who is in pretty good try scoring form, maybe Gats believes that Cuthberts bulk is preferable against the French ?.
    SW is due a big game, hopefully he can produce it on Friday.

  9. He is one of the worst players ever to wear the shirt. He has made mistake after mistake and still get picked.

    He has had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra but Gatland loves him like he loves Priestland and that is the end of the matter as far as Gats is concerned.

    I agree with Stesco that SW needs to prove his selection because he hasn’t shown anything in the 1st 2 games that justify keeping in the side over Tipuric. He has hardly played since the end of November and you cannot regain match fitness through international games alone. That is just nonsense.

  10. Cuthbert is/was (?) a great finisher circa 1 try in 2 games for Wales. Agree no form to go on but James was given 2 matches and didnt persuade Gatland to give him another go , reasonable decision. Back row selection also gets a tick . If Wales win by 8+ and i think they will , Gats is proved right.

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