The teams will use the meeting as part of their preparations for the Six Nations finals to be played on October 31 when Wales face Scotland at Parc y Scarlets and France host Ireland at Stade de France.
Another close encounter
While he’s a friendly international, don’t expect intensity levels to drop and if recent results between these teams are anything to say about it should be another close encounter.
They faced each other twice in 2019, with Wales claiming a 24-19 victory in the Six Nations clash in Paris before defeating Les Bleus 20-19 in a Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Oita. The teams also met at the Six Nations earlier this year, with France turning the tables to claim a 27-23 triumph.
France head coach Fabien Galthie kept the confidence of the players who gave Les Bleus such a good start in this year’s Six Nations by selecting the same starting lineup that helped them win their first game against England in Paris.
“This team looks like the starting 15th of our first Six Nations game against England. We love the continuity, ”Galthie said after announcing his side.
“Our team is growing and gaining individual and collective maturity.”
Les Bleus impressed in the 2020 Six Nations and claimed victories over England, Italy and Wales, but fell against Scotland, who beat them in their fourth game.
In contrast, Wales, winner of the 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam, did not reach those heights in 2020. Wayne Pivac took over the coaching reins from Warren Gatland at the start of the year and took a good departure thanks to a unilateral triumph against Italy. The rest of the campaign has been pear-shaped, however, as they suffered defeats in their next three matches against Ireland, France and England.
Wales flanker Justin Tipuric expects another tough challenge in Paris this weekend, albeit under very different circumstances.
“A test match is a test match and we know that France will blow up the guns and so will we. It will be a difficult game, ”he said.
“The French are big, strong and they had a good Six Nations, so we know they are going to be ready for a game like us. We want to have a good performance to be ready for this game against Scotland.
“It’s going to be a little weird. It has been a long time. It’s nice to come back to international rugby.
“You’re used to the big crowd and all that stuff, so it’s going to be a little weird not to have that, but it will be just good to have the red jersey so selected.
Players to watch:
For France: If France wants a repeat of the Six Nations result at the start of the year, then their star strikers, Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont will have to deliver the goods. The Toulouse half-backs proved in the four matches of the Six Nations of the Blues that they were important for the cause of their team because they played well in their first three matches while things went badly in the fourth match against Scotland, when the combination was broken after Ntamack. sent off the field in the eighth minute due to a blow to the head. They will be determined to present a neat presentation and if they impress with their game management and playing skills, don’t be surprised if France emerge as the winners in this game.
For Wales: It will be a special match for the visiting captain, Alun Wyn Jones, who will equal former All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw’s record for most Test-level appearances when he takes to the field. Jones has already established himself as one of Wales’ all-time greats and he is arguably the all-time best in second to represent his country. Despite being 35, Jones is still a mainstay of strength in the testing arena and he will be determined to celebrate his milestone with an impressive individual performance and a win for his team. Also keep an eye out for sensation at 19 Louis Rees-Zammit, who is expected to make his test debut on the substitutes bench in this game. The Gloucester flyer is one of Europe’s most exciting young players and has taken the Premiership by storm with several outstanding offensive performances. He’ll be eager to justify the hype if he has playing time.
When nothing is going to come between you and a world record equal to 148 selections. pic.twitter.com/nWPdlt3Wy2
– Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) October 22, 2020
Face-to-face: Although there are several exciting duels lined up in the park, we opted for the battle between Fallen farmers and Jonathan Davies because it opposes two of the best outdoor centers in the world. Both will play a crucial role in implementing the offensive game plans of their respective teams. Vakatawa enters this match in a rich vein of form and he was one of the stars of the Champions Cup this season where his brilliant attacking helped his club, Racing 92, reach the final of the Champions Cup. Meanwhile, Davies is hoping to be at his best after a long time on the sidelines with a knee injury. The 32-year-old is a vital cog in the Welsh machine and he will be keen to show that he is still capable of competing at a high level against a class opponent like Vakatawa in the test arena.
2020: France won 27-23 in Cardiff
2019: Wales won 20-19 at Oita (World Cup)
2019: Wales won 24-19 in Paris
2018: Wales won 14-13 in Cardiff
2017: France won 20-18 in Paris
2016: Wales won 19-10 in Cardiff
2015: Wales won 20-13 in Paris
2014: Wales won 27-6 in Cardiff
Prediction: Like the recent matches between these teams, this meeting should also go down the wire. France played very well in their court in 2020 and that will prove to be decisive in the end. France wins by five points.
France: 15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Grégory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 François Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifénua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Arthur Vincent, 23 Thomas Ramos
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Rhys Carré
Substitutes: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Seb Davies, 20 James Davies, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit
Date: Saturday 24 October
Lieu: Stade de France
Start: 21h00 locales (20h00 BST, 19h00 GMT)
Arbitrator: Karl Dickson (Angleterre)
Assistant referees: Frank Murphy (IRFU), Ian Tempest (RFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)