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George North ready to take over at centre as Wales are hit by midfield injury crisis

George North is set to answer Wales' midfield SOS for the crunch Six Nations match against France.

The Welsh have lost Scott Williams from their plans after he damaged a shoulder during the 26-3 defeat by Ireland nine days ago.

They were already without injury victims Jonathan Davies (pectoral muscle) and Ashley Beck (hip) for Les Bleus' Millennium Stadium visit on Friday evening.

Head coach Warren Gatland will name his starting line-up tomorrow, with North and James Hook the leading contenders as Jamie Roberts' midfield partner.

North, one of the most destructive wings in world rugby, moved into midfield after Williams went off midway through the first half in Dublin. He is now favourite to retain that role, with versatile Scarlets back Liam Williams lining up on the wing. North, featured in the centre for his club Northampton when they claimed a Heineken Cup victory over Leinster in Dublin two months ago.

Despite the crushing defeat against Ireland, Gatland is not expected to make wholesale changes.

Justin Tipuric is tipped to be openside flanker, with captain Sam Warburton switching to blindside instead of Dan Lydiate, while fit-again lock Luke Charteris could return instead of Andrew Coombs.

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