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Women's Six Nations: Wales make five changes for France clash

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Published in Rugby
Wednesday, 20 April 2022 04:31

Wales have made five changes and two positional switches for Friday night's Six Nations clash against France.

After the 58-5 defeat to England, Elinor Snowsill and Keira Bevan are restored as the half-backs, while Robyn Wilkins replaces Kerin Lake at centre.

Cerys Hale and Natalia John are back in the pack along with Bethan Lewis, who makes her first start of the campaign.

Captain Siwan Lillicrap returns to number eight with Sioned Harries dropping to the bench.

Teenage second row Sisilia Tuipulotu, who started against England, falls out of the matchday squad, while fly-half Niamh Terry is called up to the 23.

Donna Rose and Kerin Lake are also among the replacements.

France, who are unbeaten after three rounds, are boosted by the return of winger Caroline Boujard, who was one of the stars of last year's championship, when she scored a 15-minute hat-trick against Wales.

The French have made seven changes to the side that beat Scotland, with Chloe Jacquet and Marine Menager joining Boujard in an all-new back line.

Gabrielle Vernier comes in at centre, while Agathe Sochat and Clara Joyeux return to the front row.

Romane Menager starts at number eight in the other change.

Wales will be looking to bounce back after heavy defeat to title holders England, but face another stern challenge against a French side currently ranked third in the world.

France have scored 50 points or more in their last three meetings with Wales, but Ioan Cunningham's side turned professional at the start of the year and have enjoyed victories over Ireland and Scotland in this campaign.

Wales head coach Cunningham said: "We took a lot of learnings from the England Test. We've had a good two weeks' build-up to this game and we're excited to kick on.

"France are one of the top three teams in the world, they have powerful runners and attacking options all over the pitch that will certainly test us.

"We need to be ready to take all our own attacking opportunities and our selection behind the scrum reflects that.

"We have looked at combinations that will hopefully give us some additional attacking options and help get the ball to our outside backs."

Wales: Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Robyn Wilkins, Jasmine Joyce; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwenn Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap (capt)

Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Cara Hope, Donna Rose, Alex Callender, Sioned Harries, Ffion Lewis, Kerin Lake, Niamh Terry.

France: Chloe Jacquet; Caroline Boujard, Maelle Filopon, Gabrielle Vernier, Marine Menager; Jessy Tremouliere, Laure Sansus; Annaelle Deshayes, Agathe Sochat, Clara Joyeux, Celine Ferer, Madoussou Fall, Julie Annery, Gaelle Hermet (capt), Romane Menager

Replacements: Laure Touye, Coco Lindelauf, Assia Khalfaoui, Audrey Forlani, Emeline Gros, Alexandra Chambon, Morgane Peyronnet, Emilie Boulard.

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