Owens brings up milestone

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 10:42
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales hooker Ken Owens will win his 50th cap as Wales head into their final 2017 Six Nations encounter - against France in Paris on Saturday - unchanged.

All 23 players who featured in the last Friday's victory over Ireland in Cardiff are included.

Owens, who made his international debut at the 2011 World Cup, lines up alongside Rob Evans and Tomas Francis in the front row. Captain Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball are named in the second row with Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty completing the forward pack.

Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are named as the halfback pairing with Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies partnering in the midfield. Liam Williams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny again comprise the back three.

"I was delighted for the players at Friday's result and performance and they deserve the opportunity to build on that in our final Six Nations encounter. The experience we showed and the intensity we brought to the match was hugely important and that will just as important as we face good France team at home.

"We put pressure on ourselves and turned that pressure into a result. For us there are areas of the game we want to work on from Ireland and we have an opportunity to do that on Saturday and finish the campaign with another quality performance.

"The players who took to the field at Principality Stadium, deserve the opportunity to start and we were pleased with the impact from the bench so will be looking for the same this weekend," head coach Rob Howley said.

On the bench, Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris and Taulupe Faletau provide the forward cover while Gareth Davies, Sam Davies and Jamie Roberts are the backline replacements.
 
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts.

Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 15.45 (14.45 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

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