Wales make a number of changes ahead of French test

Jonathan Davies, Alex Cuthbert, Dan Lydiate and Bradley Davies all come into the side ahead of Friday's huge encounter with France.

Wales make a number of changes ahead of French test
Can Wales make in five out of five | Photo: planetrugby

Jonathan Davies will start for Wales on Friday night in their Six Nations match against France after recovering from a hip injury.

Davies has been declared fit to start despite the injury he sustained during Wales' narrow 27-23 win over Scotland at BT Murrayfield last time out. Warren Gatland has also recalled winger Alex Cuthbert and forwards Dan Lydiate and Bradley Davies for the must win game in Cardiff this weekend.

Justin Tipuric has been dropped from the line-up meaning that Lydiate returns to blindside flanker and Sam Warbuton moving to No.7. Gatland's only forced change is Davies coming in for the injured Luke Charteris as the Racing second row is struggling with a knee injury.

Lydiate returns at blindside flanker with Justin Tipuric dropped and Sam Warburton moving to No.7, while Davies is in for injured lock Luke Charteris. Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland has been passed fit and is on the bench.

As a result of Tipuric being left out, Lydiate, Warbuton and Taulupe Faletau will complete the back row, but Blues winger James has been left out of the 23-man sqaud.

James' replacement Cuthbert has crossed the line 15 times in 40 caps for his country, but the winger has failed to score a try since Wales' win over Italy on the opening day of last years championship

Wales looking to make in five in a row

Biggar enjoyed a try in last years win | Photo:planetrugby
Biggar enjoyed a try in last years win | Photo:planetrugby

The home side are looking to make history by beating their oponents for a fifth time in a row for the first time since 1927. Gatland was happy with his decision to announce the team on Tuesday as appose to Wednesday due to the changes in the squad.

He said: "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."

The Wales coach understands the threat that the French pose and knows that a win for his side against their opponents (who have won two from two this year) will be very impressive.

He said: "This is 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."

Both sides are unbeaten in this years champions, and a win for the hosts will see them jump to the top of the championship before England come up against Ireland on Saturday evening. France have not won the title since 2010 and a win in Cardiff would be one step closer to championship success.

Wales team to face France: Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), George North (Northampton ), 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), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues).