Wales v France, Six Nations, February 26
Wales and France make changes
February 23, 2010
Mike Phillips is on the Wales bench © Getty Images
Wales have named Mike Phillips on the bench for their Six Nations showdown with France at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night.
British & Irish Lions scrum-half Phillips made his return from a long-term ankle ligament injury in the Ospreys' Magners League victory over Connacht on Sunday and has been rushed into the 22 for the vital meeting with Les Bleus.
Phillips will provide back-up to Cardiff Blues' Richie Rees, who displaces Gareth Cooper in one of four personnel changes to the starting XV. Sale's Dwayne Peel, called into the squad by coach Warren Gatland on Sunday, does not make the 22, while Cooper has been released from the squad.
Huw Bennett is called in at hooker following an injury to Gareth Williams, while Deiniol Jones and Bradley Davies are named in the second-row following an injury to Alun-Wyn Jones and Jonathan Thomas' switch to blindside, to cover for the suspended Andy Powell.
Julien Bonnaire and Benjamin Fall are drafted into the France starting XV following injuries to Fulgence Ouedraogo and Vincent Clerc, with Clermont's Bonnaire set to win his 50th cap. France have been in ominous form so far in the tournament, powering past Scotland before ending Ireland's hopes of back-to-back Grand Slams with a clinical display at the Stade de France.
Bonnaire joins skipper Thierry Dusautoir and Imanol Harinordoquy in a powerful back-row while Pascal Pape and Lionel Nallet again start in the engine room. Up front, Thomas Domingo and Nicolas Mas are retained either side of hooker William Servat.
Wales: L Byrne (Ospreys); L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), J Hook (Ospreys), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Scarlets), R Rees (Cardiff Blues); P James (Ospreys), H Bennett (Ospreys), A Jones (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), D Jones (Cardiff Blues), J Thomas (Ospreys), M Williams (Cardiff Blues), R Jones (Ospreys, capt)
Replacements: K Owens (Scarlets), R Gill (Saracens), L Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues), M Phillips (Ospreys), A Bishop (Ospreys), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues)
France: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse); B Fall (Bayonne), M Bastareaud (Stade Francais), Y Jauzion (Toulouse), A Palisson (Brive); F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne); T Domingo (Clermont Auvergne), W Servat (Toulouse), N Mas (Perpignan), L Nallet (Racing-Metro), P Pape (Stade Francais), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), J Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
Replacements: D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), J-B Poux (Toulouse), J Pierre (Clermont Auvergne), A Lapandry (Clermont Auvergne), F Michalak (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), J Malzieu (Clermont Auvergne)