Six Nations 2019: France name teenager Ntamack against Wales

Matthieu Bastareaud
Romain Ntamack (R) has been preferred to 50-cap Mathieu Bastareaud (L) in France's midfield
Six Nations: France v Wales
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Friday, 1 February Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

France teenager Romain Ntamack will win his first cap against Wales in Friday's Six Nations opener in Paris.

The 19-year-old centre is the son of former Les Bleus wing Emile and he will play alongside Wesley Fofana with Mathieu Bastareaud not included in the 23-man squad.

Ntamack helped France to the 2018 World Rugby Under-20 Championship crown and has become a regular for Toulouse.

South Africa-born Paul Willemse also starts.

The ex-Bulls lock qualifies for his adoptive country on residency grounds having spent more than three years with Top 14 clubs Montpellier and Grenoble and is the second new cap in the side alongside Ntamack.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland wants his side to put Ntamack under pressure when the sides meet for the Six Nations opener in Paris.

"It's not trying to exploit him," Gatland said. "There is no doubt he has had some big games for Toulouse and he is learning and doing well.

"Players will say when you go out in that first international, things are happening quicker than they have ever happened before, so your decision-making has to improve and the pace of the game is at a new level.

"And that can, for younger players, take a few games to get things under your belt.

"That may happen, or he might just slot straight in and be a superstar, you don't know.

"We need to look at putting him under pressure by challenging him on decision-making and defence, and giving him no time on the ball and making it a tough day for him."

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Clermont's experienced pair of Morgan Parra and Fofana return after missing the November Tests series through injuries.

Scrum-half Parra plays his first Six Nations match since 2015 and partners Camille Lopez at half-back.

There are seven changes from the team defeated by Fiji in November 2018 with full-back Maxime Medard, wing Damian Penaud - son of former France fly-half Alain - and prop Uini Atonio also included.

Back-rower Gregory Alldritt could be the third new cap off the bench.

France: Maxime Medard; Damian Penaud, Wesley Fofana, Romain Ntamack, Yoann Huget; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (capt), Uini Atonio, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Paul Willemse, Wenceslas Lauret, Arthur Iturria, Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: Julien Marchand, Dany Priso, Demba Bamba, Felix Lambey, Gregory Alldritt, Baptiste Serin, Gael Fickou, Geoffrey Doumayrou.

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