Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton
Wales coach Warren Gatland (left) and captain Sam Warburton Getty Images

Where to watch

The match is live on BBC1, with coverage starting at 7.30pm and kick-off at 8.05pm GMT. There is also commentary on Radio 5 live sports extra.


Wales have won their last four matches against the French, their last defeat being the controversial 9-8 Rugby World Cup semi-final in 2011, when captain Sam Warburton was sent off. In that time, France have scored just one try compared to Wales' six. And despite their impressive start to the Six Nations, there remain lingering doubts about the French team under new coach Guy Novès.

The away side go into their game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on the back of two successive victories, but with much still to prove. Les Blues have recorded two narrow victories against Italy and Ireland in Paris that will have given hope to Novès.

However, a match under the floodlights in the Welsh capital is sure to provide another important test of their credentials and give fans a clearer idea of where they stand in the sport's hierarchy at present.

The French players claim to have been afforded more freedom by the current coaching set-up but that has yet to manifest itself in a dramatically more expansive game.

The hosts, meanwhile, have won one game and drawn another so far in the tournament, meaning a win is needed in order to stop France from getting away from them in the table. Tonight's game in Cardiff is sure to answer some of the questions that hang over both sides, as the Six Nations table really starts to take shape.

Guy Novès
France coach Guy Novès Getty Images


Wales: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. Jonathan Davies, 12. Jamie Roberts, 11. George North, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Gareth Davies, 8. Taulupe Faletau, 7. Sam Warburton, 6. Dan Lydiate, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 4. Bradley Davies, 3. Samson Lee, 2. Scott Baldwin, 1. Rob Evans

Replacements: 16. Ken Owens, 17. Gethin Jenkins, 18. Tomas Francis, 19. Jake Ball, 20. Justin Tipuric, 21. Lloyd Williams, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. Gareth Anscombe

France: 15. Maxime Médard, 14. Virimi Vakatawa, 13. Maxime Mermoz, 12. Jonathan Danty, 11. Djibril Camara, 10. Jules Plisson, 9. Maxime Machenaud, 8. Damien Chouly, 7. Antoine Burban, 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 5. Alexandre Flanquart, 4. Paul Jedrasiak, 3. Rabah Slimani, 2. Guilhem Guirado, 1. Jefferson Poirot

Replacements: 16. Camille Chat, 17. Vincent Pelo, 18. Uini Atonio, 19. Yoann Maestri, 20. Loann Goujon, 21. Sébastien Bézy, 22. François Trinh-Duc, 23. Gaël Fickou

What they say

Wales coach Warren Gatland: "Everyone talks about French flair and where has the French flair gone. In the past they had world-class quality players on attack. The reason there's not so much French flair any more isn't that they haven't got the players, it's just teams defensively are so organised. There's no space on the field.

"You come up against an organised defence on the field and people who are as conditioned and fit as you are, you've got an ability to shut teams down and that's what's happened to the game."

France back Maxime Medard: "We have more freedom than before but it depends on many things. We have the foundations but this coaching staff allows us to take the initiative for the good of the team.

"Of course after two wins we're more relaxed in training. That apart, what I believe is different to previous years is that the players are really taking responsibility for the style of play: we're not waiting to be told what to do, we try to speak out about things we agree or disagree with."