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Wainwright & Tompkins to face France

22/10/2020

Dragons duo Aaron Wainwright and Nick Tompkins both start as Wales kick-off their Autumn campaign in Paris against France on Saturday (kick-off 21.10 local - ITV4 & S4C).

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will level the world record of test appearances when he makes his 148th international appearance (including nine British & Irish Lions test caps).

Jones will pack down alongside Cory Hill who makes his first start for his country since February 2019. Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias and Samson Lee comprise the front-row with Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau featuring in the back-row.

Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are named at half-back with Tompkins partnering the returning Jonathan Davies in midfield. Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny make up the back-three.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: “The players are excited, it has been a long time, we can’t wait for Saturday.

“We have six matches this autumn and the game against France helps us get back into our stride international rugby-wise. We have picked an experienced side and are up against a good French team so we want to start this autumn well and get on the front foot for the Guinness Six Nations fixture against Scotland.

“We have talked already about how fortunate we are to be going about our work on a daily basis. A lot of people can’t do that and certainly within our organisation there are a lot of people not back at work.

"From our point of view this Saturday is an opportunity to prepare for this tournament and for Scotland, but two, to put some smiles on faces and put on a good performance and make the nation proud.”

Uncapped duo Sam Parry and Louis Rees-Zammit are both named on the bench for the test at Stade de France.

Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and James Davies complete the forward replacements with Gareth Davies and Rhys Patchell joining Rees-Zammit as the back-line cover.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY FRANCE:

1. Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues, 8 Caps), 2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets, 13 Caps), 3. Samson Lee (Scarlets, 41 Caps), 4. Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues, 25 Caps), 5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, 138 Caps) (CAPT), 6. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 21 Caps), 7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, 76 Caps), 8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath, 76 Caps), 9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys, 33 Caps), 10. Dan Biggar (Northampton, 83 Caps), 11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues, 24 Caps), 12. Nick Tompkins (Dragons, 4 Caps), 13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, 81 Caps), 14. George North (Ospreys, 95 Caps), 15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets, 89 Caps)

Replacements: Sam Parry (Ospreys, Uncapped), Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 35 Caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, 26 Caps), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues, 7 Caps), James Davies (Scarlets, 8 Caps), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 53 Caps), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets, 19 Caps), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester, Uncapped).

The players are excited, it has been a long time, we can’t wait for Saturday...
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