Tag: Wayne

France v Wales: Wayne Pivac’s side travel for Six Nations warm-up

Wales and France players at the end of the 2020 Six Nations match
Wales and France players at the end of the 2020 Six Nations match
Venue: Stade de France Date: 24 October Kick-off: 20:10 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary. Live on S4C.

International rugby is finally here again for Wales. It has been 231 days since Wayne Pivac’s side last played, against England at Twickenham.

It is just over seven months since Wales were due to finish their Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Cardiff before the coronavirus crisis saw that fixture postponed.

Much water has passed under the bridge since then. Welsh rugby’s Principality Stadium home was even transformed into a field hospital to house patients in the battle against the pandemic.

Now we finally have the chance to watch the Welsh team again.

Even now it is in unusual circumstances. A friendly against France as a warm-up ahead of a Six Nations tournament finale in October.

Playing behind closed doors at the vast Stade de France arena in Paris, a city under night-time curfew hosting opponents from a country in lockdown.

There will be no red army of travelling support descending on the French capital. And there is not even the consolation for Wales fans being able to legally congregate in local pubs or going to somebody’s house to cheer on the nation.

Strange times indeed.

Record breaker

Wales supporters will at least have the chance to watch captain Alun Wyn Jones equalling Richie McCaw’s record of 148 international caps.

McCaw played all those games for New Zealand, while the France fixture will represent Jones’ 139th appearance for Wales, with nine British and Irish Lions Test appearances over three tours.

Alun Wyn Jones: I’m more excited for the debutants who’ll come off the bench

“He’s looking forward to this match like it was his first test match, he’s just that sort of character,” said head coach Pivac.

“He’s the first guy to say if his performance isn’t good enough, he shouldn’t be selected. I can assure you in training he’s doing everything he’s been doing for a number of years.

“That’s the nature of the beast. He just wants to get on with the game.”

Pivac will want to do the same thing because he will be looking to avoid a fourth successive loss following Six Nations defeats against Ireland, France and England.

Team news

Both sides are strong and close to the Six Nations line-ups in Cardiff in February, when France won 27-23.

Wales have made seven changes from the team which had been due to start against Scotland in March.

Josh Adams, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Samson Lee, Aaron Wainwright and Taulupe Faletau all come in.

France wing Winger Teddy Thomas replaces the injured Damian Penaud as one of three changes in the side defeated by Scotland.

Vincent Rattez comes in for Arthur Vincent as Gael Fickou reverts to centre and Jean-Baptiste Gros takes the place of the retired

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