Wales captain Jones to equal world record for test caps


Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones will equal the world record for most test caps when he leads the side against France in Paris on Saturday.

The lock will play his 148th test, which includes nine for the British and Irish Lions, to move level with retired former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw. Jones will have the chance to take the outright top-spot when Wales host Scotland in the Six Nations the following weekend.

“It is a fabulous achievement,” Wales coach Wayne Pivac said in a statement.

“He epitomises what a great rugby player is all about. He is a true professional on and off the field and a gentleman of the game.

“On the field he leads by example and you can’t ask more of your captain and we are very privileged here in Wales to have him.”

He will form a second row partnership with Cory Hill, who makes a first start for Wales in more than 18 months.

The front row features Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias and Samson Lee, with Aaron Wainwright and Justin Tipuric at flank, and Taulupe Faletau in at No. 8.

Scrumhalf Rhys Webb will feed flyhalf Dan Biggar, with the centre-pairing made up of Nick Tompkins and Jonathan Davies. Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny make up the back-three.

“The players are excited, it has been a long time, we can’t wait for Saturday,” Pivac added. “We have six matches this autumn and the game against France helps us get back into our stride international rugby-wise.

“We have picked an experienced side and are up against a good French team so we want to start this autumn well and get on the front foot for the Six Nations fixture against Scotland.”

Teenage wing Louis Rees-Zammit has been named on the bench, but is likely to make his debut at some stage during the game.

Meanwhile, France coach Fabien Galthie named an unchanged side from their Six Nations opener against England earlier this year.

France produced a stunning performance in that match in February to win 24-17 and Galthie said that he opted against major changes as the team return to action following the COVID-19 shutdown.

Galthie’s side scored a 27-23 win over Wales in the third round of the championship, the last time the teams met.

France will next take on Ireland in their rescheduled Six Nations clash on Oct. 31.

Wales squad:

Starting XV:

Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Cory Hill, Samson Lee, Ryan Elias, Rhys Carre.


Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, James Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Patchell, Louis Rees-Zammit.

France squad:

Starting XV:

Anthony Bouthier, Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Gael Fickou, Vincent Rattez, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont, Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon (captain), Francois Cros, Paul Willemse, Bernard Le Roux, Mohamed Haouas, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille


Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Arthur Vincent, Thomas Ramos.

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