Six Nations: Wales lock Adam Beard back for Grand Slam trip to France

Six Nations 2021: France v Wales
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Saturday, 20 March Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, 5 Live, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport website and app, S4C
Highlights: Scrum V, Sunday, BBC Two Wales, 21 March, from 19:00 GMT and later on demand

Coach Wayne Pivac has recalled lock Adam Beard in the only change to his side as Wales aim to complete the Six Nations Grand Slam against France.

Beard was rested for the 48-7 win over Italy after starting the victories over Ireland, Scotland and England.

Cardiff Blues lock Cory Hill drops to the replacements bench for Saturday’s game at the Stade de France, Paris.

France have named an unchanged starting XV despite their Grand Slam hopes ending against England last weekend.

However, coach Fabien Galthie has made three changes on the bench from the 23-20 loss at Twickenham.

Uini Atonio, lock Swan Rebbadj and centre Arthur Vincent return respectively for Damien Aldegheri, Cyril Caseaux and Cameron Woki

Wales scrum-half Tomos Williams returns as a replacement after suffering a hamstring injury against Ireland on 7 February.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will partner Beard in the second-row and is bidding for a record fourth Grand Slam.

Jones, who is the world Test record holder with 156 international caps,, including nine British and Irish Lion appearances, will make his 148th Wales appearance on Saturday.

His Wales caps alone are now equal to the second-highest capped player of all time, Richie McCaw.

“We are all looking forward to Saturday and to the finale of the Six Nations,” said Pivac.

“We are four from four but know this will be a great challenge against a very good French side.

“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 are bidding for their second Grand Slam in three tournaments, following a disappointing 2020 with only three wins in 10 games in the calendar year.

Despite defeat by England last weekend, France are the only other side who can still win the competition although they will need victory in both remaining games to have any chance.

Scotland’s trip to Paris is still to be rescheduled after the match originally planned for 28 February was postponed because of Covid-19 cases in the French camp.

France: Brice Dulin; Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Gael Fickou, Damian Penaud; Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Willemse, Dylan Cretin, Charles Ollivon (capt), Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Uini Antonio, Swan Rebbadj, Anthony Jelonch, Baptiste Serin, Romain Ntamack, Arthur Vincent.

Wales:Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.


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