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Beard back for title-chasing Wales in Six Nations finale in France

Beard back for title-chasing Wales in Six Nations finale in France

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales v England - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Britain - February 27, 2021 Wales' Adam Beard and England's Maro Itoje in the line out REUTERS/Rebecca Naden/File Photo

REUTERS: Lock Adam Beard has been recalled to the starting lineup for title-chasing Wales in the only change for their final Six Nations meeting with France in Paris on Saturday, where the Grand Slam will be up for grabs.

Beard started the first three matches in the competition but was replaced by Aaron Wainwright for the 48-7 victory in Italy last weekend. The latter drops out the squad altogether.

Scrumhalf Gareth Davies has kept his place with fit-again Tomos Williams on the bench, the first time in this year’s Six Nations that Wales have kept the same starting number nine.

Victory will ensure coach Wayne Pivac's side are Six Nations champions, which would signal a stunning reversal of fortunes after a poor 2020 in which they lost seven of their 10 tests.

"We are all looking forward to Saturday and to the finale of the Six Nations," Pivac told the Welsh Rugby Union website https://www.wru.wales/2021/03/wales-make-one-change-for-french-finale.

"We are four from four to date but know this weekend will be a great challenge against a very good French side, but we are looking forward to it.

"We know we need to step up from our previous performances and we want to end the tournament with a performance we know we are capable of.

"We have had great continuity in selection throughout the tournament and that is shown once again with the selection for Saturday."

Flyhalf Dan Biggar will be alongside centres Jonathan Davies and George North, with Josh Adams, Louis Rees-Zammit and Liam Williams making up the back three.

Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis are named again in the front-row of the scrum, with Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau at the back of the pack.

Team:

1. Wyn Jones (34 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (81 Caps)

3. Tomas Francis (56 Caps)

4. Adam Beard (24 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (captain) (147 Caps)

6. Josh Navidi (27 Caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (84 Caps)

8. Taulupe Faletau (85 Caps)

9. Gareth Davies (61 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (91 Caps)

11. Josh Adams (31 Caps)

12. Jonathan Davies (87 Caps)

13. George North (101 Caps)

14. Louis Rees-Zammit (8 Caps)

15. Liam Williams (70 Caps)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee (36 Caps)

17. Nicky Smith (38 Caps)

18. Leon Brown (16 Caps)

19. Cory Hill (31 Caps)

20. James Botham (5 Caps)

21. Tomos Williams (21 Caps)

22. Callum Sheedy (8 Caps)

(Reporting by Nick Said)

Source: Reuters

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