Wales forced to make Six Nations changes

Wales coach Warren Gatland has made two enforced changes for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations finale against France in Paris.

Teenage wing George North will make his Six Nations debut as replacement for knee injury victim Shane Williams, while Ospreys prop Adam Jones returns to the pack.



Jones, who has played just 20 minutes' rugby since suffering an elbow injury in mid-January, takes over from his Ospreys colleague Craig Mitchell.



Mitchell is unlikely to play again this season after dislocating his shoulder during Wales' 19-13 victory over Ireland at the Millennium Stadium last weekend.



Gatland has otherwise retained the side that accounted for Ireland, with North on the left-wing in a back three that also comprises Lee Byrne and Leigh Halfpenny.



North, 19 next month, scored two tries on his Test debut against world champions in November, and played against Fiji and New Zealand before suffering a shoulder and being sidelined for three months.



Wales still have an outside chance of winning the Six Nations title, but they would need to beat France by 20-plus points and hope Grand Slam-chasing England suffer a similarly sized defeat against Ireland in Dublin.



France, meanwhile, are striving to avoid a third defeat in one Six Nations campaign for the first time since 2001.



"We are going into the final round of the Championship in second place and still with a shot at the title," said Gatland.



"That's pleasing, but it is not good enough yet, we need to finish the job and win in France.



"That is the only element of this weekend we can control and it is vitally important that we maintain our focus on what will be one of the toughest challenges of this campaign."



Skills coach Neil Jenkins welcomed the timely return of Jones and North.



He said: "Adam (Jones) is quite a player to have coming back into your side, he is a British Lion and one of the best players in his position in the world so we are very happy that he has timed his return from injury to perfection.



"Craig (Mitchell) has done a great job for us so far this campaign, but it is reassuring to know Adam is there to slot straight back in.



"We know now that when everyone is fit we will have real depth in that front row. It goes without saying that we will miss Shane (Williams), any side would, but George presents an entirely different prospect.



"He will want to get involved in the game and he has got all the attributes to do himself and Wales justice on Saturday.



"He will be looking forward to the challenge, we are putting no pressure on him, he will just be told to go out there and enjoy his rugby."



On the replacements bench the same forwards - Richard Hibbard, John Yapp, Jonathan Thomas and Rob McCusker - provide cover for the pack and the experienced duo of Stephen Jones (Scarlets) and Dwayne Peel (Sharks) are also retained to provide the half-back cover.



Wing Morgan Stoddart (Scarlets) remains after closely missing out on a recall to the starting line-up, with North preferred.



"Morgan (Soddart) has been unlucky, he was definitely in the running to come onto the wing and there was not a lot in it," added Jenkins.



"We know he won't let anyone down if called upon and we have plenty of experience elsewhere on the bench who may well have a role to play.



"France are always tough opponents on their own patch, they have some great players and are a top class side when they get things right so we are in no doubt that this is going to be an incredibly tough game."

Wales team to play France in the RBS 6 Nations in Paris on Saturday:

L Byrne (Ospreys); L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), J Davies (Scarlets), G North (Scarlets); J Hook (Ospreys), M Phillips (Ospreys); P James (Ospreys), M Rees (Scarlets, capt), A Jones (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), A-W Jones (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues), R Jones (Ospreys).



Replacements: R Hibbard (Ospreys), J Yapp (Cardiff Blues), J Thomas (Ospreys), R McCusker (Scarlets), D Peel (Sale Sharks), S Jones (Scarlets), M Stoddart (Scarlets).



News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star