France v Wales: Six Nations 2023 – live | Six Nations 2023
Our man Michael Aylwin doesn’t hold out much hope for Wales today, read all about it here.
Fun game if you’re a Wales fan, what do you hope to get out of it? Let me know this and anything else via email or tweet @bloodandmud
A side winning by 43 points at Twickenham shouldn’t need much tinkering; a sentiment Fabien Galthie agrees with as he makes just two changes to the side that beat England last week. Uini Atonio returns from his ban to start headlong and Romain Taofifenua replaces Paul Willemse.
Warren Gatland takes a very different approach, as he has the whole tournament. Changing teams every week suggests that his selection strategy is to throw 40 names into a lottery machine and see which of the 23 names will be returned first. Six changes this week saw Alun-Wyn Jones return to lockdown and back on the flank for Aaron Wainwright in the forwards. In the backs, Louis Rees-Zammit returns, but as backup fullback to crocked Liam Williams, George North and Nick Tompkins reunite in the centres, and Dan Biggar is back as the chief agronomist at 10.
France:Thomas Ramos; Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Ethan Dumortier; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (c); Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Uini Atonio, Thibaud Flament, Romain Taofifenua, Francios Cros, Charles Ollivon, Gregory Alldritt.
Substitutes: Peato Mauvaka, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Bastien Chalureau, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Lucu, Yoram Moefana, Melvyn Jaminet
Wales: Louis Rees-Zammit, Josh Adams, George North, Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens (captain), Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau
Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Gareth Thomas, Dillion Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Refell, Tomos Williams, Owen Williams, Leigh Halfpenny
Welcome to Act II of Super Saturday, the part where things start to get a little interesting regarding the outcome of the championship. To try to keep it as simple as possible, if Ireland wins later, they obviously win the whole show, the Grand Slam and everything; but if Andy Farrell’s men lose without a bonus point, then it’s time to pull out your calculator and several score charts.
If France claim victory with a bonus point – which after last week seems a very likely outcome – they will win the tournament (reminder, only if Ireland lose without a bonus point). If France win today without a bonus point, they will have to improve on Ireland’s points difference, which is currently 20 points higher than the Blues. Still with me? No? GOOD..
All those hazy permutations aside, the request for France is simple: win by as many points as possible, then hope for a form-reversal miracle in Dublin.
Many people have wondered if the introduction of bonus points at Six Nations is a good idea, but they can make the final day a bit more interesting. The downside is that I had to type “bonus point” into a match preamble way more than anyone would like, including myself.