Warren Gatland says Wales need to challenge France's Romain Ntamack
Ntamack makes Test debut for France against Wales on Friday
Last Updated: 30/01/19 10:30pm
Warren Gatland wants Wales to put France teenager Romain Ntamack under pressure in their Six Nations opener in Paris on Friday.
France's midfield defensive linchpin Mathieu Bastareaud has failed to make the matchday 23, with 19-year-old Toulouse centre Ntamack selected alongside centre partner Wesley Fofana.
Ntamack's international bow comes 25 years after his father Emile - a prolific try-scoring wing - made a first appearance for Les Bleus, also against Wales.
"It's not trying to exploit him," Gatland said. "There is no doubt he has had some big games for Toulouse and he is learning and doing well.
"You are probably better off talking to the players about this, but they will say when you go out in that first international, things are happening quicker than they have ever happened before, so your decision-making has to improve and the pace of the game is at a new level.
"And that can, for younger players, take a few games to get things under your belt.
"That may happen, or he might just slot straight in and be a superstar, you don't know.
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"We need to look at putting him under pressure by challenging him on decision-making and defence, and giving him no time on the ball and making it a tough day for him.
"I go back to one of (Wales centre) Jonathan Davies' first games in the (Principality) Stadium against Australia, and we often joke about that because he was like a rabbit in the headlights.
"Everything was happening so fast for him he was struggling to keep up with the game. It took him four or five games, and now he is a world-class centre."
Gatland has made just three changes from the side that beat South Africa in November, while number eight Ross Moriarty features for a first time since mid-December after recovering from concussion.
"He has had a few weeks out, but he is looking sharp and training well. He is uncompromising in terms of his approach and he has that winning attitude," Gatland added, of Moriarty.
"He loves being on the rugby field, loves being physical, loves playing for Wales and wants to win.
"There is a bit of an edge about him as well. We've got to make sure that red mist doesn't come down too quickly, because it can come down pretty fast.
"He is learning to control himself a little bit and that's a work-on for him. He understands that. He is a quality guy to have in the side and a fantastic rugby player."