Henson on the bench for Wales

Gavin Henson has been named among the Welsh replacements for Friday's clash with France, while Shane Williams returns to the starting XV. [more]

Henson on the bench for Wales

Gavin Henson has been named among the Welsh replacements for Friday’s clash with France, while Shane Williams returns to the starting XV.

Henson missed the wins against Scotland and England due to a calf strain but is fit enough to return to action at the Stade de France.

Despite Henson’s availability, Wales coach Warren Gatland has opted to stick with the Cardiff Blues pairing of Jamie Roberts and Tom Shanklin as his first-choice centres.

If Henson does appear as a replacement at some stage in Paris, it will be the first time he was worn national colours since last year’s Six Nations.

The Ospreys star missed both the summer tour of South Africa and the autumn internationals due to injury before pulling out of this month’s match in Scotland just days before kick off.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

IRB World Player of the Year Williams was absent from the 23-15 victory over England after straining his ankle at Murrayfield but the 31-year-old comes straight back into the Wales side in place of Mark Jones, who drops out of the squad completely.

That is the only change to the starting line up as Gatland favours continuity in the search for what would be a record-equaling ninth-consecutive championship game without defeat.

Andrew Bishop of the Ospreys is the man who makes way for Henson’s return to the matchday 22.

"A fit Shane Williams is a player any coach would want in their side so it was a natural decision for him to come in for Mark Jones, with no disrespect to Mark who did a good job for us against England," said Gatland.

"France are one of the top sides in the championship and they are always going to be tough opposition, especially at home, and this is a must-win game for them if they are to keep their title hopes alive.

"We also know how tough it will be for them with a short six-day turnaround for many of their players who have featured in domestic rugby this weekend.

"We had a similar experience ourselves in between the Scotland and England games and found it hard going, so that is something we must try to take advantage of."
 
Wales

Lee Byrne; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams; Stephen Jones, Michael Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Ian Gough, Alun-Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones (captain), Martyn Williams, Andy Powell

Replacements: Huw Bennett, John Yapp, Luke Charteris, Dafydd Jones, Dwayne Peel, James Hook, Gavin Henson

Previous story Former Lion commits to Blues
Next story Ireland unchanged for England
Download