France vs Wales Six Nations match preview: What time does it start and where can I watch it?

A look ahead to Saturday’s Six Nations clash between France and Wales

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The Independent Online

Wales coach Warren Gatland has opted to shake up his settled side for Saturday's Six Nations clash with France by making four changes to the team that battled past Scotland.

George North returns to the starting line up at the expense of Alex Cuthbert, after recovering from the two heavy blows to the head he suffered against England.

Luke Charteris relieves Jake Ball in the second row while Richard Hibbard drops to the bench to make way for Scott Baldwin.

Samson Lee returns to the front three after recovering form the concussion he sustained in the England defeat. The Scarlets tight head reclaims the number three jersey from Aaron Jarvis, who starts on the bench.

Cuthbert, who was spoken to by the Welsh management following an altercation with a member of the public, has been dropped from the squad after two uninspiring performances against England and France.

Ball has also been omitted from the match-day 23, with Wasps' Bradley Davies named as lock cover on the bench.

Wales bounced back from their opening-day defeat at the hands of England by securing a hard-fought win over a buoyant Scotland side at Murrayfield. But they know that they will have to overcome the awesome power of the French to keep their title aspirations alive.

But Philippe Saint Andre will be desperate to claim his first victory over the Welsh as Les Blues boss and his side are well aware that defeat is likely to put an end to their title challenge.

Saint Andre has made five changes to the side that were shut out by Ireland at the Aviva Stadium two weeks ago.

Mathieu Bastereaud drops to the bench to make way for Castres' centre Remi Lamerat  while Brice Dulin takes over from Scott Spedding at fullback.

Morgan Parra starts at scrum half after two impressive cameos off the bench against Scotland and Ireland. Parra is preferred to fit-again Sebastian Tillous-Borde, who starts on the bench, while Rory Kockott misses out due to injury.

Romain Taofifenua replaces Pascal Pape in the engine room. Pape will miss the rest of the tournament after receiving a ten-week ban for kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back.

Sofiane Guitone comes in on the wing for the injured Teddy Thomas.

Both sides are renowned for their muscular approach and after watching France's brutal battle with Ireland two weeks ago, Wales will be relishing the physical challenge Les Blues pose.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5pm


Wales 27 France 6, Six Nations, February 2014

France 6 Wales 16, Six Nations, February 2013

Wales 16 France 9, Six Nations, March 2012


France have not won, or scored a try in a Six Nations match against Wales since 2011

France's last victory over Wales came in the semi final of the 2011 World Cup

Five of Wales 23-man squad play their club rugby in France

Sam Warburton will captain Wales for the 33d time on Saturday, equalling Ryan Jones' record


France to win: 1.62

Wales to win: 2.4

Draw: 17.0


 In 2013, Wales slumped to a five-match losing run after being beaten by Ireland in the opening encounter of the Six Nations.

With just nine minutes left on the clock in their second game of the tournament against France the score stood at 6-6. The tiring Welsh forwards punched the ball up the middle before feeding Dan Biggar. The fly half chipped into the left-hand corner and it sat up perfectly for the oncoming George North, who crashed over to score. Wales secured their first win in Paris since 2005 and went on to win the tournament.  

TV: Live on BBC 1 at 17.00

France: Brice Dulin; Yoann Huget, Remi Lamerat, Wesley Fofana, Sofiane Guitoune; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Eddy Ben Arous, Guilhem Guirado, Rabah Slimani, Romain Taofifenua, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir(capt); Bernard Le Roux, Damien Chouly.

Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Vincent Debaty, Uini Atonio, Jocelino Suta, Loann Goujon, Sebastian Tillous-Borde, Remi Tales, Mathieu Bastareaud

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Gethin Jenkins, Scott Baldwin, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (capt), Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Paul James, Aaron Jarvis, Bradley Davies, Justin Tipuric, Mike Phillips, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams.