Gavin Henson could make his first Test match appearance for almost a year when Wales continue their RBS 6 Nations campaign against France on Friday night.
Ospreys star Henson will travel to Paris after recovering from a calf muscle strain which sidelined him for the victories over Scotland and England.
He has failed to break up the all-Cardiff Blues centre pairing of Tom Shanklin and Jamie Roberts though, and will be among the replacements at Stade de France.
Henson, who last played international rugby when Wales clinched last season’s RBS 6 Nations title by beating Les Bleus in Cardiff, takes over from Ospreys colleague Andrew Bishop on the bench.
Gatland has made a solitary change in the starting line-up, welcoming back wing Shane Williams, as Wales seek a record-equalling ninth successive RBS 6 Nations victory.
Williams, scorer of 45 tries in 62 Tests, has shaken off an ankle injury which meant he missed the England game, reclaiming the number 11 shirt from Mark Jones.
“A fit Shane Williams is a player any coach would want in their side so it was a natural decision for him to come in for Mark Jones, with no disrespect to Mark who did a good job for us against England,” Gatland said.
“France are one of the top sides in the championship and they are always going to be tough opposition, especially at home, and this is a must-win game for them if they are to keep their title hopes alive.
“We also know how tough it will be for them with a short six-day turnaround for many of their players who have featured in domestic rugby this weekend.
“We had a similar experience ourselves in between the Scotland and England games and found it hard going, so that is something we must try to take advantage of.”
England’s record run of tournament successes came between 2002 and 2004, while the French reeled off nine wins between 2003 and 2005, both countries claiming Grand Slams in the process.
Wales team to play France in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on Friday, February 27, 8pm:
L Byrne (Ospreys), L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys), S Jones (Scarlets), M Phillips (Ospreys); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), M Rees (Scarlets), A Jones (Ospreys), I Gough (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), R Jones (Ospreys, capt), M Williams (Cardiff Blues), A Powell (Cardiff Blues).
H Bennett (Ospreys), J Yapp (Cardiff Blues), L Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), D Jones (Scarlets), D Peel (Sale Sharks), J Hook (Ospreys), G Henson (Ospreys).