Updated: Wednesday, 19 February 2014 20:03 | By Agence France-Presse

Wales drop Phillips for France Six Nations match

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has been demoted to the bench for Friday's crunch Six Nations international against unbeaten France in Cardiff.

Wales drop Phillips for France Six Nations match

Wales' scrum-half Mike Phillips (L) tackles Australia counterpart Will Genia during an international Test match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on November 30, 2013 - by Glyn Kirk

Phillips, who has won 82 caps and was the British and Irish Lions Test number nine in Australia last year, was replaced by Rhys Web, who will make his first Wales start, in the team announced by coach Warren Gatland on Wednesday.

In the absence through injury of Scott Williams, George North moves from wing to centre, with Liam Williams replacing North out wide.

One other change from the team thrashed 26-3 by Ireland in Dublin last time out sees fit-again lock Luke Charteris recalled in place of Andrew Coombs.

Wales are bidding to become the first team to win three successive outright Six Nations Championship titles.

But the heavy defeat by Ireland was a huge setback and a loss to France would all but extinguish Welsh hopes of an outright treble never before completed in the Championship's various guises.

Wales team announced Wednesday to play France in a Six Nations international at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Friday (2000GMT kick-off):

Wales (15-1)

Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, George North, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams; Rhys Priestland, Rhys Webb; Taulupe Faletau, Sam Warburton (capt), Dan Lydiate; Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris; Adam Jones, Richard Hibbard, Gethin Jenkins

Replacements: Ken Owens, Paul James, Rhodri Jones, Jake Ball, Justin Tipuric, Mike Phillips, Dan Biggar, James Hook

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