Tomos Williams and Gareth Anscombe to start for Wales' Six Nations clash with France
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 30/01/19 11:41am
Cardiff Blues pair Tomos Williams and Gareth Anscombe will form Wales' half-back partnership for their Six Nations opener away to France on Friday.
With Rhys Webb ineligible for selection due to his circumstances of playing for Toulon in the Top 14, and Scarlets' Gareth Davies named only among the subs after a quad complaint, Williams has won the race for the No 9 shirt and will make his Six Nations debut in Paris.
Despite a considerable injury list, head coach Warren Gatland has been able to name a side which shows just three changes to the one which finished their autumn campaign with a 20-11 success over South Africa in Cardiff.
As well as Williams for Davies, Scarlets loosehead Rob Evans and Cardiff Blues flanker Josh Navidi replace the injured Nicky Smith (ankle) and Ellis Jenkins (knee) respectively.
Dragons No 8 Ross Moriarty has not played since December 15 due to concussion but has been named to start, while second row Adam Beard (concussion), full-back Liam Williams (broken finger) and wing Josh Adams (hamstring) have all also come through to be named in the team.
Centre Scott Williams (ankle), out-half Rhys Patchell (hamstring) and full-back Leigh Halfpenny (concussion) have all failed to make it though.
Wales take on France at the Stade de France at 8pm on Friday night, with Jacques Brunel having named 19-year-old centre Romain Ntamack to start among his selection.
Victory for Wales at Stade de France would extend their unbeaten run to 10 games, matching a longest winning sequence since 1999. Their last defeat was against Ireland in last season's Six Nations.
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Adam Beard, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 6 Josh Navidi, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Ross Moriarty.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Owen Watkin.