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Wales make changes for French Test

Welsh coach Iestyn Harris has made eight changes to the side that lost to France at Wrexham earlier this year for the Dragons return encounter at Lens on Saturday.

The two teams open the autumn international tri-series, which also features England, in a repeat of the 2010 European Cup Final in Albi, upon which the Welsh won 12 – 11 to earn their spot in the 2011 Four Nations series.

Whilst Wales will be without their all-time leading try-scorer, and hero on that day in Albi, Rhys Williams, they will be able to call upon Wigan forwards, Ben Flower and Gil Dudson who were both unavailable for the June international.

Wales are also boosted by the return of Bradford fullback, Elliot Kear, who sat out the June game with a wrist problem.

Warrington Under-20s prop Ben Evans, centre Rob Massam, of Championship side North Wales Crusaders, and Australia-based pair Neil Budworth and half-back Matt Seamark are all included after missing the last match.

They join a squad of youth and experience, with Salford prop Jordan James, who made his Wales debut back in 2003, lining up alongside 18-year-old Rhys Pugsley, a front rower who has come along the Welsh conveyor belt pathway from amateur side Newport Titans as a 13-year-old to gain a contract with Wigan this year.

Harris told SportingLife.com "We came together a week ago and I am really happy with the way the guys have trained over the period since. We asked a lot of our players when they came in and they have responded very well.

"The 19-man squad is ready to put in a good performance for us and the guys have jumped in with a really good attitude. We took a couple of days to settle into the structures but now they are a unit.

"The systems of our play are coming through nicely in the squad. Everyone selected is available for us - we have no new injuries - so we are happy with that and so we have picked the strongest squad we could for this match."

Welsh Dragons Squad:
Elliot Kear (Bradford), Ben Evans (Warrington), Mike Channing (London), Christian Roets (North Wales), Robert Massam (North Wales), Neil Budworth (Mackay Cutters), Danny Jones (Keighley), Craig Moss (Keighley), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manley), David James (South Wales), Steve Parry (South Wales), Joe Burke (South Wales), Jordan James (Salford), Gil Dudson (Wigan), Ben Flower (Wigan), Rhodri Lloyd (Wigan), Rhys Pugsley (Wigan), Daniel Fleming (Castleford), Craig Kopzcak (unattached).

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