Wed 30 Jan 2019 | 11:30

Gatland unveils Wales team for Six Nations opener in Paris

Gatland unveils Wales team for Six Nations opener in Paris
Wed 30 Jan 2019 | 11:30
Gatland unveils Wales team for Six Nations opener in Paris
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales kick off the 2019 Six Nations in Paris against France on Friday captained by Alun Wyn Jones, making his 49th appearance in the tournament.

Jones lines up in the second row alongside fellow Osprey Adam Beard with Josh Navidi returning from injury to start in the back row alongside British & Irish Lions Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.

In the front row Rob Evans and Tomas Francis pack down alongside Ken Owens who becomes Wales’ most capped hooker, making his 61st appearance for his county.

Tomos Williams will make his first Six Nations appearance at scrumhalf lining up alongside regional teammate Gareth Anscombe at flyhalf.

Scarlets duo Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies continue their partnership in midfield with Josh Adams, George North and Liam Williams comprising the back three.

Wales, who finished second in the tournament in 2018, face France in Paris on Friday before travelling to Rome to play Italy the weekend after. Warren Gatland’s team is currently on a nine match winning streak and Wales’ head coach knows the importance of starting their campaign well.

“We are looking forward to kicking off the Six Nations and kicking off our 2019 campaign as a whole,” said Gatland.

“We come into the game on an impressive run of results but we know how tough it will be to face France in Paris in the tournament opener.

“It will be a huge contest but we are excited going into it. We have a great deal of experience across the team and on the bench and we want to kick things off well on Friday.”

Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones and Samson Lee provide Wales’ front row replacements with Dragons pair Cory Hill and Aaron Wainwright completing the forward contingent. The experience continues on the bench with Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar and Owen Watkin providing the backline cover.

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Owen Watkin.

Date: Friday, February 1
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 21.00 (20.00 UK & Ireland time; 20.00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

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Gatland Unveils Wales Team For Six Nations Opener In Paris - Wales | Rugby365