April 23, 2021

Wales make one change to their side for Six Nations Grand Slam shot against France

3 min read

Wales have made one change to their starting XV for their Grand Slam shot against France in Paris – with lock Adam Beard restored to the team instead of Cory Hill.

Picking from a position of strength Wayne Pivac has opted for Beard as his only alteration from the side that thumped Italy 48-7 to set up this tantalising final match.

Beard will be in on the strength of his lineout prowess – the 6ft 8in second-row hoping to disrupt the French set-piece.

Adam Beard (centre) returns to the Wales XV for their Six Nations Grand Slam shot in France

Adam Beard (centre) returns to the Wales XV for their Six Nations Grand Slam shot in France

Adam Beard (centre) returns to the Wales XV for their Six Nations Grand Slam shot in France

Cory Hill is the only man to drop out of starting XV following a 48-7 rout of Italy last time out

Cory Hill is the only man to drop out of starting XV following a 48-7 rout of Italy last time out

Cory Hill is the only man to drop out of starting XV following a 48-7 rout of Italy last time out

WALES XV TO FACE FRANCE

1. Wyn Jones (34 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (81 Caps)

3. Tomas Francis (56 Caps)

4. Adam Beard (24 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (147 Caps)

6. Josh Navidi (27 Caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (84 Caps)

8. Taulupe Faletau (85 Caps)

9. Gareth Davies (61 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (91 Caps)

11. Josh Adams (31 Caps)

12. Jonathan Davies (87 Caps)

13. George North (101 Caps)

14. Louis Rees-Zammit (8 Caps)

15. Liam Williams (70 Caps)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee (36 Caps)

17. Nicky Smith (38 Caps)

18. Leon Brown (16 Caps)

19. Cory Hill (31 Caps)

20. James Botham (5 Caps)

21. Tomos Williams (21 Caps)

22. Callum Sheedy (8 Caps)

23. Uilisi Halaholo (3 Caps)

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The only other swaps for Wales come on the bench, where fit-again scrum-half Tomos Williams is back from hamstring trouble for the first time since the opening Ireland match.

He is joined by James Botham, in for Aaron Wainwright, and Nicky Smith who replaces Rhys Carré as the substitute loose-head prop.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones equals All Black legend Richie McCaw’s caps tally for a single nation – playing in his 148th Welsh Test in yet again the most experienced Wales XV ever assembled.

Jones could win a personal fourth Grand Slam too; a feat no Welshman has ever achieved, nor has any player solely in the Six Nations era.

The most recent men to complete a fourth clean sweep were French pair Fabien Pelous and Olivier Magne in 2007, and England’s Jason Leonard in 2003.

Wales’ new caps record is pushed once more to 987 caps, with senior men Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar, Jonathan Davies, George North and Liam Williams all looking for further Grand Slam success.

‘We are all looking forward to Saturday and to the finale of the Six Nations,’ said Wales head coach Pivac.

‘We are four from four to date but know this weekend will be a great challenge against a very good French side, but we are looking forward to it.

‘We know we need to step up from our previous performances and we want to end the tournament with a performance we know we are capable of.

‘We have had great continuity in selection throughout the tournament and that is shown once again with the selection for Saturday.’

Wales have not sealed a Grand Slam in Paris since 1971 – and despite never messing up on the final day with a clean sweep at their mercy in the Six Nations era, they have always been at home to finish the job.

The last time they went away for a Slam they lost in 1994 to England at Twickenham.

Ken Owens scores a try in Rome last weekend to help set up Wales' shot at the Grand Slam

Ken Owens scores a try in Rome last weekend to help set up Wales' shot at the Grand Slam

Ken Owens scores a try in Rome last weekend to help set up Wales’ shot at the Grand Slam

Wayne Pivac is in a position of strength with his side coming off the back of a huge victory

Wayne Pivac is in a position of strength with his side coming off the back of a huge victory

Wayne Pivac is in a position of strength with his side coming off the back of a huge victory

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