Six Nations 2016: France stints do not improve stars - Gatland

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A beanie for Davies' 50th cap? Perhaps...
Six Nations: Wales v Scotland
Date: Saturday, 13 February Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Kick-off: 16:50 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, live commentary on Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales coach Warren Gatland says none of his France-based players have become better players by crossing the Channel.

Centre Davies will win his 50th cap when he lines up alongside Harlequins' Jamie Roberts, formerly of Racing 92, against Scotland on Saturday.

"I don't believe that any of our players have improved going to France," said Gatland.

Davies admits he has not always been at his best since being in France, adding: "But it's all about learning."

He returns to Scarlets at the end of the current campaign and added: "I've learned off some of the best players in France, and the experience of playing at such a passionate club has been good.

"You cannot emphasise how important rugby is to them, and how the emotions are in French rugby.

Vern Cotter
Vern Cotter coached Jonathan Davies during his last season at Clermont Auvergne, 2013-14

"The last few weeks, our results haven't gone to plan, but I have enjoyed it and I think I've learnt about myself.

"Living out there on my own, you have time to think about stuff. I'm not very philosophical as such, but at the time it was the right decision for me to go out to Clermont.

"And now, making the decision to come home is the right one now."

Gatland says it is "great" Davies is returning to the Scarlets after two years at Clermont Auvergne.

"So the fact Jonathan has decided to come back home and we can have more hands-on with him and work with him... hopefully we will see him getting back to where he was and improving his game," added Gatland.

Gatland is looking forward to seeing Davies continue his "pretty special" midfield partnership with Roberts when Wales play their first home game of the Six Nations.

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He added: "Hopefully, he has another 50 caps in him if his body can stay fit."

Racing 92 lock Luke Charteris is also part of Wales' France-based contingent, while record cap holder Gethin Jenkins, who is on the bench against Scotland, spent the 2012-13 season at Toulon.

Injured full-back Leigh Halfpenny is expected to remain at Toulon beyond the end of this season having attracted interest from Scarlets and former team Blues.

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James Hook, who was in the World Cup squad last year but was not selected for the Six Nations, is at Gloucester after impressing while at Perpignan.

Scarlets backs coach Stephen Jones played for Gatland's Wales after returning from Clermont Auvergne, while fellow former Wales captains Gareth Thomas and Colin Charvis also played in France.

Davies has signed a national dual contract in which the Welsh Rugby Union will pay 60% of his salary with Scarlets funding the rest.

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