Wales conclude what has been a largely underwhelming Guinness Six Nations marketing campaign once they deal with France in Paris on Saturday.
Warren Gatland’s workforce are large outsiders towards the free-scoring French, who’re recent from demolishing England 53-10 at Twickenham.
Here, the PA information company seems to be at some key speaking factors heading into the sport.
Wales face a formidable problem
Statistics scream from the web page when assessing the dimensions of Wales’ process. One look on the Six Nations desk reveals all, with France having scored 16 tries and 133 factors in 4 video games. They are joint-top of the attempt chart with leaders Ireland, and have amassed extra factors than another workforce. Wales, in distinction, can replicate on simply seven touchdowns and the match’s worst factors distinction. Defensively, solely Italy have conceded extra tries than Gatland’s facet, so every thing factors to Les Bleus dominating. A bonus-point victory for France would hold their title hopes alive, though Ireland stay odds-on favourites.
Antoine Dupont – a grasp at work
Wales assault coach Alex King has in contrast the France captain’s affect on worldwide rugby with that of New Zealand famous person Dan Carter, who loved a stellar All Blacks profession throughout 112 Test matches. The dynamic scrum-half’s extraordinary requirements by no means appear to dip, and he has proved the on-field catalyst of French rugby’s renaissance beneath head coach Fabien Galthie. World participant of the 12 months accolade and a Six Nations Grand Slam nestling in his profession portfolio, Dupont might now lead France to a primary World Cup triumph on house soil in simply over seven months’ time. At 26, he’s already a real nice of the sport.
Wales have impressed in Paris
While the bookmakers are unlikely to provide Wales even the slightest of glances concerning an away win this weekend, the guests can at the least take coronary heart from latest performances within the French capital. They have received on three of their final 5 Six Nations visits to Paris, taking the spoils in 2013 (16-6), 2015 (20-13) and 2019 (24-19). And the losses have been by simply two factors on every event, suggesting it was not a venue they encountered an excessive amount of bother with throughout Gatland’s earlier 11-year stint as head coach. Since he left after the 2019 World Cup, although, France have received a Six Nations Grand Slam and toppled the likes of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Ireland in Paris.
Faletau will turn out to be the eighth participant to clock up a century of Test match appearances for Wales when he packs down within the back-row towards France. Faletau joins a listing that options Alun Wyn Jones, Gethin Jenkins, George North, Dan Biggar, Stephen Jones, Gareth Thomas and Martyn Williams, and he’s solely the fourth Welsh ahead to attain that landmark. The Cardiff quantity eight has excelled throughout a 12-year worldwide profession that additionally contains three British and Irish Lions excursions, and his performances have hardly ever waned. He has been a go-to participant for Gatland, who handed him his Wales debut in 2011, and stays a hugely-influential performer.
World Cup image clearer for Gatland?
Wales have endured a tough season-and-a-half, profitable solely 4 of their final 16 Tests, with Gatland taking on when Wayne Pivac left after the Autumn Nations Series that included a house defeat towards Georgia. The World Cup countdown to France 2023 continues, and new gamers have emerged like centres Mason Grady and Joe Hawkins, wing Rio Dyer, lock Dafydd Jenkins and flanker Jac Morgan, whereas others at the moment injured – Dewi Lake, Will Rowlands and Josh Navidi – Gatland will hope can come into account. Whether Wales have sufficient energy in depth and enough high quality to problem is questionable, however it’s also real looking to anticipate improved showings throughout World Cup warm-up video games after which into the match.