Wales are set to be without forwards Tomas Francis and Will Rowlands for their first game in seven months, with Callum Sheedy and Ioan Lloyd also unlikely to feature.

Wayne Pivac’s side travel to face France on October 24 to prepare for their bloated autumn schedule. The game is taking place in the revised window but it clashes with the Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham.

Francis’ Exeter Chiefs will face Rowlands’ Wasps in English rugby’s finale on the same Saturday as Wales’ game.

It is thought that Pivac will not stand in the way of his players featuring in a final for the sake of a warm-up game against Les Bleus.

Chiefs tight-head Francis remains Wales’ top No.3 and hasn’t featured in a red jersey since injuring his shoulder in the Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat to South Africa.

Rowlands burst onto the scene in the Six Nations after receiving a shock call-up. His performance against France, in particular, earlier this year really caught the eye.

He was again in fine form for Wasps in their convincing 47-24 victory over Bristol Bears at the Ricoh Arena.

Bristol Bears call-ups Sheedy and Lloyd are also long odds to make their debuts at the Stade de France.

Both are set to be involved in Bristol’s preparations for their European Challenge Cup final against Toulon on October 16.

It means they due to miss Wales’ first week of training – the squad is due to meet up this Monday – and it would seem unlikely that Pivac would throw them in against Les Bleus with only a handful of training sessions under their belts.


Wales, Rugby union, Wasps RFC

World news – GB – Wales lose two players for opening autumn match

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