Wales face biggest test against France in quest of Grand Slam

Wales face biggest test against France in quest of Grand Slam

PARIS: Wales are one win away from a second Six Nations Grand Slam in three years, but the last leg of an unexpectedly successful campaign will likely be the steepest when they face a much-loved France side in Paris Saturday.

As exciting as they can be, Les Bleus do have some weaknesses, as their 23-20 loss to England on Saturday showed and Wales will do all they can to ensure that the Welsh side do not have not the space and freedom to relax his back line.

For France to lead the title race in the final game – their revamped fixture against Scotland – they will need to improve to complete matches after failing to keep the pressure on in the final 10 minutes at Twickenham.

“We were frustrated after the game against England but we have moved on. We are still on the right track to win the championship and we will be ready, I am sure, ”said center Gael Fickou.

A bonus points victory against Wales and then Scotland should be enough to give the title to the Blues. A losing bonus point for Wales could complicate matters and see Wayne Pivac’s side take top honors if France don’t win with four tries.

France could also dominate the Six Nations standings with nine points if they manage to reverse their current 24 match point disadvantage against the Welsh.

Since coach Fabien Galthie took over in early 2020, France have rediscovered their touch and become more clinical, but Wales have also experienced a renaissance after winning just three of ten tests last year.

They have scored 17 tries in four matches in this year’s Six Nations, but are well aware that France’s defense, overseen by their own former defense coach Shaun Edwards, has really tightened.

“How many levels will we have to climb? Quite a few, ”said Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones, who has been in superb form throughout the campaign.

Pivac added: “We know we’ll be in a massive game. We were the two receivers of the result against France. ”

Hooker Ken Owens said the team’s confidence in Pivac’s principles has been key to Wales’ resurrection after losing seven tests last year, including two to France.

“We take our opportunities and try to spread the ball a lot more,” he said. “We had a certain individual brilliance throughout the competition… things are definitely clicking. ”

The same goes for France this year, with the Blues showing breathtaking moves, which they hope will be enough against Wales after the COVID-19 outbreak in the French squad puts them in the spotlight. gap for four weeks before the game against England.

“It is true that recently, we have scored a lot of tries thanks to players like (center) Virimi (Vakatawa), (wingers) Damian (Penaud) and Teddy (Thomas), (scrum half) Antoine (Dupont)” , Fickou said.

“They are an added strength. We’re going to have to use these weapons against Wales. ”

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)


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