Friday, February 27, 2009

Test Rugby: Wales v France in Paris

Wales v France in Paris (6 Nations)

Young 20 year-old centre Mathieu Bastareaud makes his debut for France. Benoit Baby will play his first game at fly half for France. Normally a centre, Baby will need to play above his best so far if he is to make an impact against the pace-setting Welsh. The Parisian crowd has not been gentle on their nation side of late as it lurches and bounces its way along in some inconsistent displays of test rugby.

Last run on to the park saw the French overcome a determined Scottish side 22-13 and with some boos from their supporters. Its was not a convincing display. The French have added an inexperienced centre and a player not known for his skills as a fly half into their team.

Wales has the advantage of a win last time these teams met and it was a very convincing 29-12. France has won the last two games between these two teams in Paris.

Last Five Encounters
15.03.2008 Wales 29-12 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
26.08.2007 France 34-7 in Paris (World Cup Warm-up)
24.02.2007 France 32-21 in Paris (6 Nations)
18.03.2006 France 21-16 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
26.02.2005 Wales 24-18 in Paris (6 Nations)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Wales 3rd, France 6th
Europe Table-Wales 1st, France 3rd.

Prediction: It will be a right old tussle between these European greats. I expect the unexpected from France but not enough to push the Welsh over. Wales by 12 points


15 Maxime Medard (Toulouse)
14 Julien Malzieu (Clermont-Auvergne)
13 Mathieu Bastareaud (Stade Francais)
12 Yannick Jauzion
11 Cedric Heymans (Toulouse)
10 Benoit Baby (Clermont-Auvergne)
9 Morgan Parra (Bourgoin)
8 Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
7 Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier)
6 Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse)
5 Sebastien Chabal (Sale)
4 Lionel Nallet, Capt. (Castres)
3 Sylvain Marconnet
2 Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Francais)
1 Fabien Barcella (Biarritz).
16 Benjamin Kayser (Leicester, England)
17 Thomas Domingo (Clermont-Auvergne)
18 Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse)
19 Louis Picamoles (Montpellier)
20 Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Castres)
21 Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier)
22 Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse)
Head Coach: Marc Lièvremont

15 Lee Byrne
14 Leigh Halfpenny
13 Tom Shanklin
12 Jamie Roberts
11 Shane Williams
10 Stephen Jones
9 Michael Phillips
8 Andy Powell
7 Martyn Williams
6 Ryan Jones (captain)
5 Alun-Wyn Jones
4 Ian Gough
3 Adam Jones
2 Matthew Rees
1 Gethin Jenkins.
16 Huw Bennett
17 John Yapp
18 Luke Charteris
19 Dafydd Jones
20 Dwayne Peel
21 James Hook
22 Gavin Henson
Head Coach: Warren Gatland

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