Wales won one match to finish fifth in last year’s Six Nations and lost to England, Ireland, Scotland and France in the autumn; Wayne Pivac’s team remain unbeaten in 2021, and a win against France in Paris this weekend would deliver a second Grand Slam in three years
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac talks about the prospect of winning a Six Nations Grand Slam when they take on France on Saturday
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has made one change to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Six Nations title and Grand Slam mission against France.
Lock Adam Beard returns instead of Cory Hill following a 48-7 victory over Italy in Rome last weekend.
Pivac has made four switches on the replacements’ bench, selecting Hill, prop Nicky Smith, flanker James Botham and scrum-half Tomos Williams, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, among his eight substitutes.
Williams started Wales’ Six Nations opener against Ireland last month, but he was hurt during that game and has not played since.
Scrum-half Tomos Williams is back on the bench following a hamstring injury
Beard, who featured in Wales’ opening three games, is back as captain Alun Wyn Jones’ second-row partner – Jones wins his 148th Wales cap this weekend – and Gareth Davies retains the number nine shirt.
Wales will collect a sixth Six Nations crown and fifth Grand Slam if they win in Paris, but a losing bonus point would still be enough to secure the title if France do not collect a five-point maximum.
“We are all looking forward to Saturday and to the finale of the Six Nations,” Pivac said
“We are four [wins] from four to date, but know this weekend will be a great challenge against a very good French side, but we are looking forward to it.
Back-row James Botham has also been added to the squad among the replacements
“We know we need to step up from our previous performances, and we want to end the tournament with a performance we know we are capable of.
“We have had great continuity in selection throughout the tournament, and that is shown once again with the selection for Saturday.”
Wales: 15 Liam Williams; 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Josh Adams; 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Nicky Smith, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Adam Beard, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 6 Josh Navidi, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Cory Hill, 20 James Botham, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Uilisi Halaholo.