France travel to Cardiff in the hopes of extending their winning run
Women’s Six Nations Wales v France Preview
The French have beaten Ireland, Italy and Scotland so far in this championship, but their contest against the latter highlighted some weaknesses. Their penalty count was high and some handling errors gifted possession to the Scots.
However, one thing that will worry Wales, and indeed England, is the resoluteness of their defence. France, while not scoring a point in the second half, held Scotland to just one try after relentless attack. It was impressive and one star in particular who stood firm was Madoussou Fall.
But will their incredible defence be enough to stop Wales, who are looking to hit back after defeat by England in the last round?
Wales were stoic and valiant against the Red Roses but Simon Middleton‘s side proved too much, just as France have proved too much in the past two years when beating Wales 53-0 and 50-0.
Ioan Cunningham’s team will be looking to get back to winning ways having triumphed in their opening two fixtures. They are in firm contention to finish in third and if they can get a win over the French it will boost their efforts to be the so-called best of the rest.
The Wales head coach said: “The England match gave us a reality check if it were needed and shows us we have a lot of work to do. We also need to remember England are much further down the road of professionalism but we must take on board these learnings if we are to make further progress this year.”
Here is what you need to know about the match in our Women’s Six Nations Wales v France Preview.
What’s the big team news?
Ioan Cunningham has made five changes to his starting XV to face France at home. Elinor Snowsill and Keira Bevan return as the half-back pairing with Robyn Wilkins switching to centre.
Cerys Hale comes into the front row with Natalia John starting at lock and Bethan Lewis at flanker. Captain Siwan Lillicrap moves to No 8.
France, meanwhile, have made six changes to their starting line-up for the match in Cardiff.
Fast-paced winger Caroline Boujard, who scored a hat-trick against Wales last year, returns from injury. Maelle Filopon and Gabrielle Vernier start as the new centre pairing and Jessy Tremouliere retains her shirt at fly-half. Chloe Jacquet moves to full-back with Marine Menager going from centre to wing.
In the forwards, Agathe Sochat and Clara Joyeux come into the front row and Romane Menager starts at No 8.
What time is kick-off and is it on TV?
The match will kick-off at 8pm on Friday 22 April at Cardiff Arms Park.
It will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer and S4C in the UK. For more information on how to watch the match from elsewhere in the world see our Women’s Six Nations live stream guide.
The referee is Maggie Cogger-Orr and she will be assisted by Joy Neville and Maria Beatrice Benvenuti. The TMO (television match official) will be Olly Hodges.
What are the line-ups?
Wales: Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Robyn Wilkins, Jasmine Joyce; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap (captain).
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 Deshaye, Agathe Sochat, Clara Joyeux, Celine Ferer, Madoussou Fall, Julie Annery, Gaelle Hermet (captain), Romane Menager.
Replacements: Laure Touye, Coco Lindelauf, Assia Khalfaoui, Audrey Forlani, Emeline Gros, Alexandra Chambon, Morgane Peyronnet, Emilie Boulard.
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