What we learned from Wales’ team announcement to face France

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A second-place finish in the NatWest 6 Nations table is on the line this weekend when Wales welcome France to Cardiff on Super Saturday.

A second-place finish in the NatWest 6 Nations table is on the line this weekend when Wales welcome France to Cardiff on Super Saturday.

The final day of the Championship culminates at Principality Stadium and Wales are looking for only their second runner-up finish since their last title in 2013.

Click here for the complete 2018 NatWest 6 Nations fixture list

The odds are in their favour, they have not lost to France at home in the last eight years, and Warren Gatland has brought back his big guns for the clash.

Here’s everything we learned from Gatland’s selection:   DAN IS STILL THE MAN   A lot of the build-up this week has focused on the No.10 jersey and who would wear it.

Three different men, Rhys Patchell, Dan Biggar and Gareth Anscombe have worn it across their first four games of this year’s Championship.

Anscombe got the last chance against Italy in round four but it is Biggar, injured for the first two rounds but a starter in their Dublin defeat, who gets the nod.

The British & Irish Lion kicked 14 points the last time France came to Cardiff back in 2016 as Wales emerged victorious and he has held off his two challengers once again.   BACK-ROW BLEND   Justin Tipuric was so impressive last weekend against Italy that Gatland could not drop the flanker, meaning Josh Navidi returns on the openside and The British & Irish Lion stays at blindside.

That means that Aaron Shingler, so impressive this season for Wales, is forced to settle for a spot on the bench.

Taulupe Faletau remains at No.8 after captaining Wales last weekend so Ross Moriarty – No.8 for the first three rounds of the Championship – misses out altogether.

There is also no room for debutant James Davies who caught the eye last weekend against Italy as Gatland has employed two opensides once again in Tipuric and Navidi to try and dominate France at the breakdown.   BACK THREE REUNITED   Lions trio Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny and George North have all caught the eye so far in this Championship, but this is their first start of the season together as a trio.

Williams will be back on the left wing after his full-back outing against Italy, Halfpenny returns to the No.15 jersey and North keeps his spot on the right wing.

The trio know each other’s games so well and will be itching to unleash on Les Bleus this weekend.

No player has made more clean breaks in this year’s Championship than Steff Evans but the Scarlets youngster has to settle for a spot on the bench as Gatland goes back to his tried and tested.   CENTRE OF ATTENTION

Man of the match last weekend Hadleigh Parkes was always going to keep his spot at No.12.

The New Zealand-born centre only has five caps for his country but is already one of the first names on the Wales teamsheet.

Owen Watkin got his chance outside him last weekend but it is Parkes’ Scarlets teammate Scott Williams that returns to the No.13 slot for the France clash.

Williams and Parkes have teamed up to devastating effect for their club this year but they will have their work cut out for them against the mighty Mathieu Bastareaud. Although they have already faced off this season on club duty when Toulon faced Scarlets.   CAPTAIN FANTASTIC   After a busy Lions tour, a full autumn and three stars in the first three rounds of the Championship, Alun Wyn Jones was probably due a rest.

But having watched Wales’ win over Italy last Sunday from the stands, the lock is back in the second row and prepared to take on France this weekend.

He comes back as captain, Faletau led the troops last weekend, and partners Cory Hill again in the second row.

And they will need all of Jones’ experience if they are to hold off a resurgent Les Bleus who downed England in round four.