Home Six Nations Willemse starts for France against Wales

Willemse starts for France against Wales

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It will be a big moment for the Willemse-family when former Bulls lock Paul Willemse run onto the field this weekend for France against Wales.

Willemse who got his residence end of 2018 was selected in the starting lineup for France Six Nations opener this weekend in Paris.

Willemse, a 2012 junior world champion with the Junior Springboks, arrived on French soil in 2014 as a 21-year-old, and has the three years of residency required by World Rugby regulations.

Also making his debut against the Welsh and facing a baptism of fire in midfield will be Romain Ntamack, the 19-year-old son of emblematic ex-France back Emile.

“Romain Ntamack is a strong pick,” Brunel admitted. “Of course, he’s a lad whose qualities we all know.

“He’s shown since the start of the season that he’s capable of adapting to the levels he’s played at.”

Ntamack will be partnered in the centres by Wesley Fofana, who missed the November Tests through injury, with Gael Fickou and Geoffrey Doumayrou providing cover from the bench.

Willemse is partnered by Sebastien Vahaamahina in a massive lock pairing, while New Zealand-born Uini Atonio makes his return at prop. Jefferson Poirot is at loosehead with skipper Guirado at hooker.

Teams:

France

15 Maxime Medard, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Wesley Fofana, 12 Romain Ntamack, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 3 Uini Antonio, 2 Guilhelm Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot.

Substitutes: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Gael Fickou, 23 Geoffrey Doumayrou

Wales

15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Owen Watkin

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