Verdict on Wales squad to face France as future mainstay gets off to a start and MP steps up


Surprise Surprise – Wales won’t face a France U12 side in Paris on Saturday night after all.They will, in fact, face a 23 day matchday with just one change from the truly impressive crew that prevailed at Cardiff in February.

As much for the threats of French clubs that Fabien Galthie would be refused the services of many senior players.

Things were finally resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, as almost everyone on the planet has guessed.

It’s life.

Wayne Pivac probably wouldn’t have paid too much attention anyway.

He’s had enough to try to bring his own team back to victory.

The Wales coach made seven changes for the friendly at Stade de France this weekend. These are seven changes from the squad chosen to face Scotland in a Six Nations game that was due to be postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Much happened over the next seven months.

Poor WillGriff John, picked for a first cap against the Scots, is no longer part of the 38-man squad, while Hadleigh Parkes’ spell as Wales home center has long come to an end.

In short, here are the headlines of the Pivac selection for the meeting with France.


Few would have bet the farm on this one.

Rhys Carre is an actor with immense potential. At 6-foot-3 and 20-foot-10, it’s a unit that takes a change, but it’s also a force on the ground. Last November, Stuart Barnes named him as a potential Lions test starter against South Africa in 2021.

Still, he hasn’t started a game for Cardiff Blues so far this season, with Corey Domachowski being chosen as a free-headed prop and Square limited to bench duties.

Plus, Nicky Smith and Wyn Jones are seasoned performers, with 60 caps between them.

But, for those two today, it’s an alas, Smith and Jones story, with the couple pushed aside by Cardiffian, 22.

It is a selection turned towards the future.

Potentially, if he fully develops as a scabbard, Carré could be a great player for Wales in the seasons to come.


There was a time when Samson Lee would have been considered the long-term successor to Adam Jones.

And for a while, everything seemed to be going well on that front.

But the injuries then took hold and Lee has started just eight of Wales’ last 48 tests.

The moron started well this quarter, however, standing out as he reached 150 games for the Scarlets, his solid scrum in the foreground.

The selection vote for the game against France likely went in his direction due to his set piece force. Dillon Lewis and Leon Brown are renowned for their qualities on the loose, but Lee has the advantage over both as a scabbard and therefore has always been likely to start once Tomas Francis has been ruled out of the fight by his commitments with the club .

Rhys Carre (right) with Samson Lee (left) and Sam Parry (center) in training


Ryan Elias has waited a long time for his big chance.

But it’s here now.

A good performance by the Scarlets this weekend will go a long way to allay any anxiety Wales may be feeling over the loss of injured Ken Owens.

Wayne Pivac will trust Elias.

He used it in the front row for the Scarlets when Owens was injured as the West Wales region pushed for the PRO12 title in 2017. The 21-year-old rewarded his coach with a strong performance in victory in the semi-final against Leinster and the astonishing success over Munster in the final.

Elias is a dynamic actor with a high pace of work.

Wales hope their darts are accurate, but every coach is hoping for their chosen whore’s.

If he manages to find his sweaters, there is no reason why the Carmarthenshire product should not do much when it first appeared in the French capital.


Aaron Wainwright’s return to form has been one of the most encouraging accounts in Welsh rugby since the sport returned to Wales in August.

He hadn’t been at his best.

“I wasn’t wrestling, but I wasn’t playing my best rugby after the World Cup,” he admitted recently.

“The break came at a good time for me.”

There can be no argument here. Before the lockdown, matches would go on without the young Dragons giving them a meaningful imprint.

But that has changed in the past two months.

Almost every time he took the field he played, looking more like the player whose form had been such that Warren Gatland had mentioned him in dispatches as a potential Lion.

His tackle came with an advantage and his carry was determined and aggressive.

It must be said that one could say much the same thing of Ross Moriarty. Unfortunately for him, an injury reduced his chances.

Either way, Pivac has gone for Wainwright at No.6 and the youngster will be desperate to repay Faith.


Maybe we should have seen this one coming.

After all, Cory Hill was selected to face Scotland in March, but the game has been postponed.

The breeders appreciate the energy he brings and appreciate his leadership.

He was also instrumental in the Cardiff Blues’ impressive start to the season.

The last time he started a game for Wales was against England in 2019.

Hill put in an eight out of 10 performance that day topped off with a try.

Pivac would settle for something similar in Paris.


OK, not as a starter, as some would have liked, but Louis Rees-Zammit is named to the 23-day squad and Pivac has said he will have playing time.

A flurry of testing and praise propelled him to the edge of the beanie.

He is a player who has something that is brutally difficult to defend himself against: the electric rhythm over 20 meters.

The teenager is also hungry to go through the whitewashing of the opposition.

But it’s no surprise that Pivac went for George North and Josh Adams in his XV run-on.

North has had his criticisms, but he worked tirelessly against England in March and is a player who can make a big impact in a game when he’s in a good mood. It would have been a major call to retain the experience of 98 caps a week before a Six Nations meet, as starters likely to face the Scots need to be worked out.


If it was a long wait between drinks for Cory Hill, it must have seemed like an eternity for Rhys Webb.

The clock must be reset to November 2017 for its last test start.

But he fought to regain his favor after returning from his stay in France.

This gives the 31-year-old a chance to land a marker.

The season ends with a tour of the Lions and Webb will know that the Rugby Test is where places for this trip are won and lost.

What is it going to be this weekend?

The Osprey’s performance against Edinburgh earlier this month was exceptional. His effort against Ulster a week later was ordinary.

He will want to resolve this inconsistency.

But when he is, he’s a good player who is vocal, skillful and confident.

A challenge against arguably the best world No.9 at this stage, Antoine Dupont, will give him the opportunity to make a statement.


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