Biggar and Tompkins in midfield
Taulupe Faletau will win his 100th cap against France as Dan Biggar and Nick Tompkins return to midfield in the Wales Six Nations squad’s final fixture in Paris.
Biggar starts at fly-half after recovering from injury with Owen Williams dropping to the bench while Saracens centre Tompkins takes the No 12 jersey off Joe Hawkins, who misses out on the 23 entirely.
George North will partner Tompkins in place of Mason Grady while Louis Rees-Zammit switches to full-back with Josh Adams and Rio Dyer on the wings. After an impressive performance against Italy, Rhys Webb continues at scrum-half with Tomos Williams among the replacements.
With Liam Williams out with a shoulder injury, full-back Leigh Halfpenny wears No 23. Alun Wyn Jones returns to the second row to partner Adam Beard and win his 158th cap with Exeter Chiefs’ Dafydd Jenkins dropping to the bench.
The only other change in the forward pack sees Aaron Wainwright replace Jac Morgan, who picked up an ankle injury in training, at blindside flanker.
Bradley Roberts comes onto the bench to provide hooker cover after Scott Baldwin’s pectoral injury against Italy. Dillon Lewis will win his 50th cap when he comes on at the Stade de France.
Read more: Rees-Zammit intercept knocks stuffing out of England
Wales Six Nations squad to play France
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 Reffell, Tomos Williams, Owen Williams, Leigh Halfpenny
Wales Six Nations squad to play Italy
Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Mason Grady, Joe Hawkins, Rio Dyer; Owen Williams, Rhys Webb; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens (captain), Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Dafydd Jenkins, Jac Morgan, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau
Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Gareth Thomas, Dillion Lewis, Rhys Davies, Tommy Reffell, Tomos Williams, George North, Louis Rees-Zammit
Read more: Wales Six Nations fixtures
Wales Six Nations squad to play England
Related: Possible Wales player strike for England game – Twitter reacts to explosive report
Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Adams, Mason Grady, Joe Hawkins, Louis Rees-Zammit; Owen Williams, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Ken Owens (captain), Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Christ Tshiunza, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau
Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Rhys Carre, Dillion Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Reffell, Kieran Hardy, Dan Biggar, Nick Tompkins
Wales Six Nations squad to play Scotland
Liam Williams; Josh Adams, George North, Joe Hawkins, Rio Dyer; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens (captain), Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Adam Beard, Christ Tshiunza, Tommy Reffell, Jac Morgan
Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Rhys Carre, Leon Brown, Rhys Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb, Rhys Patchell, Alex Cuthbert.
Wales Six Nations squad to play Ireland
Liam Williams; Josh Adams, George North, Joe Hawkins, Rio Dyer; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Ken Owens (captain), Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Jac Morgan, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Reffell, Rhys Webb, Owen Williams, Alex Cuthbert.
Wales Six Nations wider squad
Gats is back with a new Wales Six Nations squad. Wales start the 2023 Six Nations with a new coach but an old feel as Warren Gatland returns to Cardiff. The New Zealander spent 12 years in charge before departing after the 2019 World Cup but is back on familiar ground after Wayne Pivac’s sacking.
And he named a 37-man Wales Six Nations squad for the 2023 championship with hooker Ken Owens due to captain the side.
Read more: King and Forshaw confirmed as new Wales coaches under Gatland
There are recalls for Leon Brown, Rhys Carre, Rhys Patchell, Aaron Wainwright, Rhys Webb and Owen Williams. While Liam Williams and Wyn Jones are back in the wider squad after missing the Autumn Nations Series with injuries.
Dewi Lake had also recovered to be included but another injury set-back saw his Ospreys team-mate Scott Baldwin returned to the fold.
Gatland said: “It’s probably a bigger squad than I’d normally name, but we want to have a good Six Nations and also look forward to the World Cup.
“We’ve some youngsters that have come in and then we’ve some older very experienced players that we need to manage. It’s looking at the whole element for the squad and how we get the balance right, because that’s definitely going to be a challenge over the next ten months.”
On his new captain Owens, Gatland added: “Ken’s incredibly experienced and a passionate Welshman – it means a lot to him to play for Wales. He’s also very popular with the players.
“He came back from injury and was absolutely outstanding during the autumn campaign. Probably, if you’re picking a team at the moment he’s the number one in that position. But he’s going to have some competition with Dewi and Bradley as well which is going to be great.”
Opinion: Prepare for Warren Gatland’s second coming, writes Paul Williams
Jonathan Humphreys will coach the forwards while Neil Jenkins remains in his post as skills and kicking coach, a role he has performed since 2004. Gatland has wasted no time on putting his own stamp on things, Stephen Jones has been removed as attack coach while Gethin Jenkins has also lost his job as defence coach.
Alex King has been drafted in on attack while Sale’s Mike Forshaw has been lured from Manchester to Wales to run the defence. Former Wales international and Worcester Warriors coach Jonathan Thomas is the final piece of the new Gatland puzzle, coming on board as contact coach, and they will all be looking to hit the ground running come 4 February and Wales’ opening fixture against Ireland.
Wales Six Nations squad 2023
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby – 17 caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 45 caps)
Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 17 caps)
Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 8 caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets – 86 caps), Captain
Bradley Roberts (Dragons – 3 caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons – 22 caps)
Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 67 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 45 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys – 41 caps)
Rhys Davies (Ospreys – uncapped)
Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 1 cap)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys – 155 caps)
Teddy Williams (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)
Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 95 caps)
Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 6 caps)
Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 4 caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 89 caps)
Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs – 3 caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 36 caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 16 caps)
Rhys Webb (Ospreys – 36 caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 40 caps)
Dan Biggar (Toulon – 103 caps)
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets – 21 caps)
Owen Williams (Ospreys – 3 caps)
Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)
Joe Hawkins (Ospreys – 1 cap)
George North (Ospreys – 109 caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 25 caps)
Keiran Williams (Ospreys – uncapped)
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 44 caps)
Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 55 caps)
Rio Dyer (Dragons – 3 caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets – 97 caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 22)
Liam Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 81)
Wales Six Nations fixtures 2023
(All kick-off times are GMT)
Sat 4 February, Wales 10-34 Ireland – Principality Stadium, 2.15pm, Watch James Lowe interception knock stuffing out of Wales
Sat 11 February, Scotland 35-7 Wales – BT Murrayfield, 4.45pm, Watch outrageous Finn Russell offload against Wales
Sat 25 February, Wales 10-20 England – Principality Stadium, 4.45pm, Wind knocked out of England by Rees-Zammit interception
Sat 11 March, Italy 17-29 Wales – Stadio Olimpico, 2.15pm, Bounce of the ball undoes Italy
Sat 18 March, France v Wales, Stade de France, 2.45pm
Don’t miss a game with our Six Nations TV coverage guide.
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