Six Nations 2020: Wales Vs France Preview, Team News, and Key Stats

France's Antoine Dupont
France's captain and talisman Antoine Dupont is now fit after he injured his arm while training on Tuesday
Venue: Principality Stadium Date: Friday, 11th March Kick-off:20:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer or online at 19:30 GMT; listen to BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Wales; text commentary via the BBC Sport website and mobile application.

When France and Wales meet at the Principality Stadium, on Friday, Wales will attempt to stop France's quest for a Six Nations Grand Slam.

Their talent has been demonstrated by their thirteen attempts so far. However, their defense has also been impressive. transformed by Shaun Edwards.

Following defeats in Ireland and England, Wales' chances of holding on to their title are effectively over.

What they could have done during their time with Edwards, their former defense coach 23-19 defeat by England at Twickenham in round three.

They had a terrible and unfocused start which saw them fall 17-0 behind.

The matches between these teams have been tight in the past. Last season, France won a decisive 32-30 victory in Paris to deny Wales the Grand Slam. If they want to stop the Six Nations favorites from winning, the hosts will need all their firepower.

France will win the Grand Slam title and Grand Slam if they beat England. Wales will face Italy at home in their last match.

Team news

Wales have made four changesFrom the England side with two players in the back row.

After five months of being sidelined with a shoulder injury, Josh Navidi is quickly re-entered the side. Seb Davies, however, starts as blind-side flanker. This is a departure from his position as a lock.

Taine Basham gets dropped, and Ross Moriarty takes his place on the bench.

Gareth Thomas is selected ahead of Wyn Jones as loose-head prop, and veteran centre Jonathan Davies begins after Nick Tompkins sustains a concussion in Saracens.

France captain Antoine Dupont has been passed fitDespite injuring his arm on Tuesday during training, he continued to train.

The starting XV that beat Scotland has one change. Winger Gabin Villiere replaces Damian Penaud. Meanwhile, replacement lock Romain Tofifenua drops out of match-day 23 due to coronavirus.

Notes for commentators

Eddie Butler: Can Wales do it? After the first 50 minutes, they have shown improvement. The home team may find it important to arrive before the 9 o’clock watershed on Friday night.

Seb Davies, a mystery to himself, but as talented as any ball-player on the continent, is in the back row. Josh Navidi is also there. It would be interesting for French analysts to assess the new duo, one on each side of the peerless Taulupe Fletau.

This goes completely against the form book, but we are waiting for the surprise that always comes… Wales 34 France 28.

France lead the Six Nations table with Ireland in second and England third

View from both camps

Pivac discusses Tomas Francis' selection after his head injury in England “We are proud to have a highly skilled medical team that we consider world-class.

“The World Rugby return-to-play protocols have been observed. These protocols are very strict.

“We went the extra mile with Tomas and brought in an independent concussion specialist.

“He is familiar with the history of the players, has seen footage of matches and understands World Rugby protocols. He supports the fact that the player has been selected.

“It is something we don't do lightly, as a player’s well-being and health are at the forefront all these decisions.”

France head coach Fabien Galthie: After positive Covid-19 test results, Romain Taofifenua and Damian Penaud will not be allowed to travel.

“We had largely been spared that up until now, but it's how it is. We have the resources to stand up against Wales.

“We are preparing: we are waiting to hear from the Six Nations Committee about when and if we will be retested.

“Psychologically, it's brutal. We have to keep going, and the men coming in are ready.


Wales: 15-Liam Williams, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Owen Watkin, 12-Jonathan Davies, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Dan Biggar (capt), 9-Tomos Williams; 1-Gareth Thomas, 2-Ryan Elias, 3-Tomas Francis, 4-Will Rowlands, 5-Adam Beard, 6-Seb Davies, 7-Josh Navidi, 8-Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16-Dewi Lake, 17-Wyn Jones, 18-Dillon Lewis, 19-Ross Moriarty, 20-Jac Morgan, 21-Kieran Hardy, 22-Gareth Anscombe, 23-Louis Rees-Zammit

France:15-Melvyn Jelonch

Replacements: 16-Peato Mauvaka, 17-Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18-Mohamed Haouas, 19-Thibaud Flament, 20-Dylan Cretin, 21-Maxime Lucu, 22-Thomas Ramos, 23-Matthis Lebel

France's Damian Penaud scores a try against Scotland

Match facts


  • France's three wins against Wales in all competitions are their most recent, after having lost eight of the previous nine.
  • France won 27-23 against Wales in their Six Nations last visit. It was their first win at Cardiff since 2010.
  • Les Bleus could win consecutive Cardiff games for the first-time since winning the Six Nations' first four away meetings in 2000 and 2006.
  • Six of the seven previous encounters were won by five or less points. This average is just 2.5 points per win. France's triumph in Paris with 38-21 in October 2020 was an anomaly.


  • Wales has won 10 of the 11 matches they have played at the Principality Stadium in Six Nations. France, however, was the only opponent to them in that stretch.
  • Their line-out success ratio of 83% is the lowest in this Six Nations. They have lost seven more line-outs than any other side. They had the second-best rate in 2021 (91%), losing six throws over the whole championship.
  • They averaged 199 tackles per game, more than any other side of this Six Nations.


  • France has recorded at least 28 points in the eight last Tests. This average of 33.8 per match.
  • They have won six of the last six Test matches. It is their best result since 2004 when they had eight consecutive wins, which included a victory at Cardiff.
  • Les Bleus trailed at the half-time of just one of their 31 Test matches. They went into the break ahead on 27 occasions, and level three times.
  • They were last to trail after the first half of a match against Scotland in round four, March 2020.

Match officials

Referee: Matthew Carley (Eng).

Touch judges Jaco Peyper (SA) & Andrea Piardi (Ita)

TMO: Tom Foley (Eng).

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