Disappointing news for Warren Gatland ahead of kick off. He's been forced into a late change as Jonathan Davies has picked up an injury. Owen Watkin replaces him in the starting lineup with Leigh Halfpenny called up to the bench.
The weather is about bang on perfect for rugby. 25 degrees Celsius, with fairly low humidity and miniscule chances of rain. It should be an exciting game full of running rugby. It will be important for both sides to be clinical in converting any opportunities. Both teams will feel they can win this game, so any point scoring moment could be pivotal throughout the match.
The winner of this match will be the third side to advance to the semi finals. They will face the winner of the quarterfinal between Japan and South Africa later today.
This is an historic Northern Hemisphere battle, that has seen the teams meet on 97 previous occasions. It's the Welsh who have narrowly more victories, by 50 to 44, with 3 draws. In this great history, the sides have only played once at a World Cup, in a memorable low scoring semi final in 2011. It was the French who turned up that day amd did just enough to win 9-8, and they'll be hoping history repeats itself eight years later.
Today's referee is the experienced South African Jaco Peyper, assisted by Nic Berry and Paul Williams, with Marius Jonker on TMO duty.
Les Blues have had a 14 day break since their last game, which was a narrow victory against Tonga. Their final pool stage game against England was cancelled due to the Typhoon. What it means is that the French are all well rested but perhaps lacking a bit of game time. They'll be a bit of an unknown quantity coming into this game, considering they haven't really been tested by a top team yet. If it's one of those vintage World Cup matches that the French famously turn up for, well then we're in for an absolute cracking match.
As expected, Wales have only retained 4 players from the starting side that comprehensively defeated Uruguay 35-13 in their final group stage game. For the quarter final, they've selected what most view as their strongest available. Warren Gatland is confident in his selection and believes his team has what it takes to qualify for the semi finals.
FRANCE STARTING XV: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Bernard le Roux, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (C), 1 Jefferson Poirot.
REPLACEMENTS: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Emerick Seriano, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Vincent Rattez
WALES STARTING XV: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (C), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tom Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones. RESERVES: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Quarter Final 3 of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. We are in Oita for today's mouth watering clash between Wales and France at Oita Stadium.
Dan Biggar gets quarterfinal 3 underway with a deep kick off toward the French 22 which is knocked on! Wales are in possession.
The Welsh are driven backwards. Following 8 phases of play, Biggar resorts to a kick for his wingers to chase, but it's too long. Medard marks and clears into touch around halfway.
The ball is pinballing around on halfway! It eventually sits up fortuitously for the French, who are able to poke a kick through. George North does just enough to field it near his tryline and Wales clear, although not into touch.
An electric surge from the French. Damian Penaud carries it back, making a break and getting close to the line. He looks to offload but is isolated and Wales make the turnover. Biggar clears but under plenty of pressure, and only finds touch at the 5 metre line.
TRY! FRANCE! VAHAAMIAHINA! 0-5. The French retain the ball from the lineout and shove it over the line through the forwards!
Conversion attempt rebounds off the left post.
TRY! FRANCE! OLLIVON! 0-10. This is sublimanal! Champagne rugby from the French. It's an absolutely gorgeous try. They break up from their 22. Each attacker did perfectly to draw the defender and pass to the next French player in support. A truly special team try and a dream start is finished off by Charles Ollivon!
CONVERSION! FRANCE! N'TAMACK! 0-12. A simple conversion this time for Romain N'Tamack is successful.
TRY! WALES! WAINWRIGHT! 5-12. That's exactly the response Wales needed. The ball comes loose from a ruck near halfway. Wainwright is first to pounce, picking it up and accelerating with venom through the broken French defence. He sprints in right under the poles.
CONVERSION! WALES! BIGGAR! 7-12. Conversion successful from Dan Biggar.
Dan Biggar launches a glorious spiral kick to end a mini kicking battle, finding touch inside the Welsh half.
France win the ball from the lineout and look to form the maul, but the Welsh defence is superb. They shut it down and win the turnover. Wales will have a scrum, just outside the French 22.
A high tackle gives Wales a penalty on the 22 metre line. Dan Biggar will have a shot at goal, and the opportunity to reduce the deficit.
PENALTY! WALES! BIGGAR! 10-12. From centre field, and 22 metres out, Dan Biggar slots the penalty to move Wales within 2 points of France.
A great clearance from Gareth Davies carries play up to the halfway line. Brilliant exit play from the Welsh.
Vakatawa thought he spotted a gap on halfway. He sprints at it but is wrapped up in the tackle, and the ball squirts out of his grasp as he looks to offload. Hadleigh Parkes is able to grubber it up field but gets too much on it, allowing Penaud to dot it down for a 22 drop out.
France win the ball on halfway from the 22 drop out. Gael Fickou gets it in space and carries up to the Welsh 22 but France have given away a penalty at ruck time, relieving the pressure, as Biggar punts to touch inside French territory.
The French defence has been resolute all game so far. Wales unable to create any go forward so far, being driven back phase by phase. Eventually, when they do get it over the advantage line, a flat ball is knocked on, giving France a put in to the scrum outside their 22.
Josh Navidi is forced off early through a hamstring injury, with Ross Moriarty replacing him.
YELLOW CARD! WALES! MORIARTY! 10-12. Having just come on the field, Ross Moriarty is sent to the sin bin for his high tackle on Gael Fickou. France have opted to kick for touch from the resulting penalty.
North finds touch inside the French half, but they surprise the Welsh going quickly with a cute move down the wing. Space opens up, as Medard gets it at first receiver and finds his left winger with a perfect cross kick. The ball is played inside to Fickou who is taken out with a nasty high tackle. The French try poke it through with a grubber kick but Jaco Peyper comes back for the penalty and has asked TMO to have a look at the tackle.
TRY! FRANCE! VAKATAWA! 10-17. The French have their third try! Damian Penaud gets it and runs at a gap. He gets his hands free, making a superb offload to Vakatawa. The big outside centre has too much power and makes his way over the line!
CONVERSION! FRANCE! N'TAMACK! 10-19. The lead is extended by Romain N'Tamack, further punishing the Welsh for their poor discipline.
A loose ball allows Dupont to launch a kick into Welsh territory, which Biggar is forced to carry into touch inside his own 22.
An absolutely breathtaking game for the spectators, and that's exactly what the players will be looking for. End to end play, and fantastic last stitch defence from the Welsh has somehow kept the French from getting over for another try. They've given away a penalty 5 metres out.
Perhaps surprsingly, France have opted to kick at goal, in spite of the fact that Wales are still down to 14 points. They may rue that decision, with N'Tamack's penalty rebounding off the post.
France move the ball through 12 phases but knock it on. Wales look to play it out under advantage but a loose pass is intercepted by the French. It would have been a try, but Jaco Peyper brings it back for the scrum from the knock on.
HALF TIME. WALES 10 - 19 FRANCE. Having had a yellow card, Wales will be pleased that the deficit isn't larger, with the French spending the large majority of the last 10 minutes deep inside Wales territory. However, Les Blues will be elated to go into the break with a 9 point lead, and will hope to carry their momentum through to the 2nd half.
The two teams are back out, with Camille Lopez replacing Romain N'Tamack at flyhalf. He gets the 2nd half underway with a deep kick toward the Welsh 22.
Liam Williams retains an up and under on halfway. There's a couple of turnovers to follow but Wales manage to keep going forward. An illegal entry to the ruck has put an end to that however, with France getting a soft penalty which they kick to touch, just outside the Welsh 22.
A Welsh player clearly spotted this early, screaming "Drop goal! Pressure!" a couple of times. They are unable to shutdown Lopez but his attempt drifts wide of the right upright.
A piece of misfortune from Wales. Dupont looks to execute a tantalizing kick behind the French defence. Moriarty looked to charge it and got a touch on it. Liam Williams ran back toward his touchline and was forced to make an attempt to keep it in. Unfortunately, he can only palm it into touch about 6 metres from the Welsh line.
France setup the maul and win a penalty due to a side entry from one of the Welsh players.
RED CARD! FRANCE! VAHAAMAHINA! 10-19. Huge trouble here for Vahaamahina. He is penalised for an arm around the neck but then TMO has spotted a deliberate elbow to the face. This is a massively pivotal moment in the match. An early shower, and a fabulous last 30 minutes has been setup. Brain fart!
Fantastic defence from the France. Wales had some good momentum through the maul, but they are able to shut it down and make the turnover at the ruck from the next phase. Dupont clears to touch beyond his 22.
Wales win a penalty right on the France 22 metre line for a tackler not rolling away. Biggar will have an attempt at goal.
PENALTY! WALES! BIGGAR! 13-19. Dan Biggar sends his kick straight through the centre of the uprights. He reduces the French lead to 6 points, within reach from a converted try.
A strong position over the ball from Jefferson Poirot wins France a penalty near halfway for holding on. Lopez sends them into the Welsh 22 with a kick to touch.
France retain the ball through 13 phases inside the Welsh 22. Lopez dropped into the pocket for the end couple of phases, but ended up changing his mind. He got it in a standard first receivers position before giving it to Vakatawa. It's that man though who bit off more than he could chew, running out wide and throwing a loose offload which was knocked on 10 metres from the Wales line.
Wales clear and the ball falls to Medard. He executes one of the worst drop goal attempts of all time! It looks more like a grubber kick, ending up racing along the ground into the Wales 22.
Wales win a penalty just inside the French half. It's probably on the edge of Biggar's range but he's opted to kick for touch instead. Wales will have a lineout on the French 22 metre line.
The ball squirts out of the maul and into French hands, allowing Dupont to kick upfield.
Unbelievable intercept! What a moment!! That is a try saver and possibly a match saver from a leaping Yoann Huget. George North attempted to float a ball over the winger, to his support out wide, where there was a massive overlap. Incredibly, Huget manages to grasp onto the ball and Wales give away a penalty! France will have the chance to clear to touch.
Lopez drops into the pocket about 40 metres out, but fools everyone by launching an up and under instead. The chase was good, and nobody does enough to claim the ball. Wales knock it on so France have a scrum on the 22 metre line.
Yet another strong carry from Vakatawa! He busts his way to the Welsh 5 metre line. The Welsh players look to turn the ball over but knock it on in the process. This gives Les Blues a phenomenal attacking platform, with a scrum just 5 metres from the Wales line.
France make nothing of the scrum with Wales clearing up field.
A soft penalty against France. Gabrillagues takes out the scrumhalf on halfway. Biggar kicks to touch inside the French 22.
TRY! WALES! MORIARTY! 18-19. It''s a monstrous scrum from Wales! Picamoles picks the ball up under pressure from the back of the scrum but is wrapped up in the tackle, with the ball squirting up in the air. It''s just a metre from the line when Moriarty picks it up and dots it over!
Oh no! The French defence were at sixes and sevens. A Wales try looked imminent but a little knock on has the French smiling again. They'll have a defensive scrum around 5 metres from their own line but the chance to clear.
CONVERSION! WALES! BIGGAR! 20-19. After a TMO check, Jaco Peyper awards the try and Biggar takes no time in putting the conversion over. Wales take the lead!
It's all going against France now. Maxime Medard kicks up field, but the ball trickles over the dead ball line. Wales have a scrum on halfway.
After a few resets, it's Wales who win a penalty from the scrum!
FULL TIME! WALES 20 - 19 FRANCE! What an absolutely phenomenal and dramatic quarterfinal! It's the Welsh who qualify for the semi finals, doing just enough to edge over the line. The French can hold their heads high, having put up a brilliant performance, but an absolute disastrous disciplinary slip up is what's cost them in the end. Having played 30 minutes with a red card, it was always going to be tough to hold onto the lead, and although they had their chances, it proved a step too far. Wales will await the result from Japan v South Africa to see who their opponent is in the Semi Final next Sunday.