The 31-year-old missed the Irish clash with a finger injury andreplaces the man who deputised for him as captain then, Martyn Williams, inthe back row.
While Williams drops to the bench lock Robert Sidoli is droppedaltogether and replaced by Michael Owen with veteran Gareth Llewellyn taking thelatter's place on the bench.
Prop Gethin Jenkins replaces Adam Jones, who has an ankle injurywhile experienced centre Mark Taylor got the nod for his 45th cap slightly surprisingly ahead of Tom Shanklin - who scored their two triesagainst the Irish - in the starting line-up as Sonny Parker failed to recoverfrom injury.
Wales coach Hansen said he felt sorry for the players who had beendropped. "Robert Sidoli has only played two games in the last eightweeks because of his pelvis problem and in Michael Owen we have someone who is inexcellent current form," said the 44-year-old former New Zealand detective.
"Sid will turn out for his region because he needs more matchplay. We had a tough decision in the back row and have gone forsize to combat a big French pack.
"The decision is no reflection on Martyn Williams'performance last time out and he will come on and play a part later in the game, as he hasdone so
"In the front row Duncan Jones has a slight wrist injury, sowe decided it was too risky to consider him for selection when in Iestyn Thomas wehave a top-quality player," added Hansen, who is leaving his post atthe end of the campaign to reunite with his predecssor in the Welsh job and now AllBlacks handler Graham Henry.
Hansen implied that Shanklin had lost out to Taylor because theformer was capable of covering several positions in the backs. "Mark Taylor offers a valuable level of experience and, ofthe options available to us to replace Sonny, Tom Shanklin is able to cover wing,centre and full-back from the bench," said Hansen.
Wales: Gareth Thomas (Celtic Warriors); Rhys Williams (Cardiff), MarkTaylor (Llanelli), Iestyn Harris (Cardiff), Shane Williams (Neath-Swansea);Stephen Jones (Llanelli), Gareth Cooper (Celtic Warriors); Dafydd Jones(Llanelli), Colin Charvis (Tarbes/FRA) capt, Jonathan Thomas (Neath-Swansea);Michael Owen (Dragons), Brent Cockbain (Celtic Warriors); Gethin Jenkins(Celtic Warriors), Robin McBryde (Llanelli), Iestyn Thomas (Llanelli) Replacements: Mefin Davies (Celtic Warriors), Ben Evans(Cardiff), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath-Swansea), Martyn Williams (Cardiff), TomShanklin (Cardiff), Dwayne Peel (Llanelli), Ceri Sweeney (Celtic Warriors)