Wales player ratings: Rio Dyer and Dafydd Jenkins catch the eye in gutting defeat to France

David Skippers
Rio Dyer celebrates try Wales v France SN 2024 - Alamy.jpg

Wales wing Rio Dyer celebrates with his team-mates after scoring a try against France.

Following their 45-24 defeat to France in their Six Nations clash at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, here’s how the Wales team performed on Sunday.

Wales player ratings v France

15 Cameron Winnett: Not his best day at the office as he made little impact with ball in hand and on defence, although he was safe under the high ball but not tested too much in that facet of play. 6

14 Josh Adams: The Cardiff flyer had few attacking opportunities, and when the ball did come his way, he was kept in check by the French defence. He was solid on defence, though, and made six hits. 6

13 Joe Roberts: The 23-year-old had big boots to fill when he came into the run-on side to replace the legendary George North, but Roberts can be happy with his display during a 61-minute stint as he looked dangerous on attack and scored a well-taken try, while also impressing on defence where he made 11 tackles. 7

12 Owen Watkin: Caught France’s defence napping with a fine line break in the build-up to Tomos Williams’ try and continued to impress with some strong carries. Looked solid alongside Roberts in midfield but did not make a big impact on defence. 6

11 Rio Dyer: Showed great vision to score a runaway try during the early stages, which gave Wales an edge during the first half, and continually tested the French defence with some strong runs. Eventually gained a team-high 82 attacking metres from nine runs, which included one clean break and three defenders beaten. 8

10 Sam Costelow: An indifferent performance from the Scarlets playmaker as he showed some deft touches on attack – especially in the first half – but also had moments to forget, like the time when he kicked the ball directly into touch with three players on his outside. He impressed with his goal-kicking but was eventually replaced by Ioan Lloyd in the 57th minute. 6

9 Tomos Williams: Another solid performance from the Gloucester-bound scrum-half as he gave good service to his outside backs and kept Les Bleus’ defenders busy with some sniping breaks. Was rewarded with a well-taken try and finished with 66 metres gained before being replaced by Gareth Davies midway through the second half. 7

 Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead Planet Rugby’s player ratings key.
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8 Aaron Wainwright: The Dragons stalwart gave his all and had some good moments with ball in hand but, like most Welsh players, he was stifled by a well-organised Les Bleus defence. Was also buy on defence with 10 tackle completions. 7

7 Tommy Reffell: The man known as “Turnover Tommy” was his usual busy self at the breakdowns but had little success in that department. Went down with a leg injury late in the first half but continued to toil manfully before being replaced in the 57th minute. Put in another huge defensive shift as he made 18 tackles during his time on the field. 7

Big defensive shift from the captain

6 Dafydd Jenkins (c): The Welsh skipper was shifted to the blindside flank from lock for this fixture and gave a good account of himself despite the change in position. He was a valuable source of lineout possession and made his biggest impact on defence, where he made a match-high 26 tackles. 8

5 Adam Beard: Wales’ main source of possession in the lineouts, the 28-year-old was prominent in that facet of play and also did well when defending, where he finished with 15 hits made. 7

4 Will Rowlands: The Racing 92 man gave good support to Beard in the lineouts and also put his body on the line on defence with 12 tackles made, but with France dominant in the forward exchanges, he had little influence in other areas. 6

3 Keiron Assiratti: France put plenty of pressure on Wales at scrum time, and Assiratti bore the brunt of the pressure at the set-piece. Did not make much of an impact in other areas, and was not surprising when he was yanked off in the 45th minute with Dillon Lewis coming on to replace him. 5

2 Elliot Dee: The 30-year-old was a late addition to Wales’s starting line-up or Ryan Elias, who withdrew due to a hamstring injury, and the Dragons hooker was solid in the execution of his core duties, especially defence, where he made 13 tackles before being replaced by debutant Evan Lloyd in the 71st minute. 6

1 Gareth Thomas: Initially struggled in the scrums against behemoth opponent Uini Atonio but soon stood his man in the scrums before being replaced by Corey Domachowski in the 71st minute. Thomas put in a huge defensive shift and finished with 17 tackle completions. 7

Replacements: Unfortunately, the Welsh replacements did not have a big influence on this fixture, as most of the substitutions were made in the second half when France started to dominate proceedings. 5

READ MORE: France player ratings: Rookie fills Antoine Dupont’s boots as bench blows Wales off the park