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Alfie the Record Breaker

27th August 2007

Gareth Thomas became the first Welsh man to win 50 tests last weekend, and now targets his 51st against France on Sunday.

Gareth Thomas became the first Welshman to win 50 rugby internationals when he led his side to its 27-20 victory over Argentina last weekend and he has the chance to make it 51 against France in front of up to 50,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 2.45pm).

Gareth Jenkins has made three changes to the side that beat the Pumas last week for the visit of the reigning Six Nations champions. But with tickets selling at a rate of 2,000 a day he is backing his record-breaking captain and teammates to repeat last weekend’s winning performance for the expected bumper pre-World Cup crowd in Cardiff against another IRB top-five ranked side.

Blues centre Jamie Robinson, a try scorer in Paris earlier in the year, comes into the midfield to replace his regional colleague Tom Shanklin, who is rested after sustaining a knock to his knee. In the front row, Worcester prop Chris Horsman replaces Osprey Adam Jones, who is resting an ankle injury.

The third change comes on the wing where Ospreys speedster Shane Williams returns in place of Dafydd James after regaining full fitness after elbow and shoulder surgery.

“We have a lot of work still to do and we must concentrate on developing our style of play. But we are very much looking for a repeat result from last weekend coupled with an improved performance,” said Wales Head Coach Jenkins.

“We are at the sharp end of the coaching process and have maintained a consistency of selection in order to allow this side to develop its style.

“We began our campaign in earnest last week and are looking forward to getting out there again at the Millennium Stadium and putting all our hard work of recent weeks into practice.”

“A couple of bumps and bruises mean that Jamie Robinson and Chris Horsman have come into the equation and get another chance to stake their claims in their respective positions. We are just looking at short term injuries with Tom and Adam and both will be back in contention for our next game,” added Jenkins.

WALES: Kevin Morgan; Mark Jones, Jamie Robinson, Gareth Thomas (Captain), Shane Williams, James Hook, Dwayne Peel; Duncan Jones, Matthew Rees, Chris Horsman, Ian Gough, Alun-Wyn Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Martyn Williams, Alix Popham

Replacements: T Rhys Thomas, Gethin Jenkins, Will James, Colin Charvis, Michael Phillips, Ceri Sweeney, Sonny Parker

Tickets are on sale from the Blues Ticket Office call 029 2030 2030. The match day Arms Park Ticket Office located at will foot of the ramp from the Angel Hotel will be open from 9am on Saturday.