The WALES are out for revenge as they seek to arrest the French Grand Slam march – a year after their Paris agony ended their own shot at immortality.
The Welsh Rugby Union has been left with a headache for this Friday night’s match despite thousands of unsold tickets, costing around £100, sparking anger among fans at being overcharged.
The dragons began their competition at the end of their hideout on July 29 in Ireland, before returning to knock Scotland out.
And despite a weaker squad, they fought bravely before being beaten 23-19 by England at Twickenham.
France faced no such challenge in their campaign, as they started with home wins over Ireland and Italy.
Then, most impressively, they beat Scotland 36-17 at Murrayfield, helping them to top the Six Nations group.
Before the game, Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: “France is the best team in the world at the moment.
“Any team that can score 40 points against New Zealand plus just beat Ireland in this game will be very hard to beat.
“They have a lot of world-class players and are a big team that will test our fitness and our game.”
What time does rugby Wales vs France start?
- Wales meets France on Friday, 11 March TONIGHT.
- The match starts at 8pm UK time – 9pm French time.
- It will take place at the Principality Stadium.
- Last time out against me, France racked up 32-30 winners with a final try in an incredible bout that saw them finish with 14 men and Wales with 13.
What TV channel is Wales vs France on and can I stream it live?
- Wales vs France is live on BBC One.
- Coverage starts at 7:30pm – half an hour before kickoff.
- To stream the game live, visit BBC iPlayer.
- France 2 is the French broadcaster for the Six Nations.
- Audiences wanting to watch in Welsh can head to S4C, with coverage starting there at 7:30pm.
Can I watch Wales vs France for free?
- Yes. BBC is free to all viewers with a TV license.
- S4C is also free.
Wales made four changes for the match against France.
Josh Navidi returns after a five-month hiatus, replacing Taine Basham.
Elsewhere, Jonathan Davies replaced Nick Tompkins, Seb Davies replaced Ross Moriarty and Gareth Thomas replaced Wyn Jones.
France has shuffled their pack due to Damian Penaud’s disqualification with Covid.
Gabin Villiere returned to the left and Yoram Moefana was moved to the right as a result.
But there was relief for the Frenchman as star Antoine Dupont recovered from an injury on the training ground to be in the starting line-up.
* Odds from Betfair correct as of Monday, March 7
Scrum-Half Antoine Dupont was out as the Welsh men needed to stop if they were to get a surprise win tonight.
“We don’t tend to single out every single player, but you can’t help but do that because he’s world-class,” said Wayne Pivac.
“You see you’ve done some of the things he’s done well. Hopefully we’ll be able to stop him.”
Wayne Pivac has publicly admitted that Taine Basham was dropped for Josh Navidi’s return due to some errors he made.
“It was a pick in some,” said Pivac. He is a young player who has played a lot of rugby in a row.
“He started making some mistakes. He was open and honest about his game.
“We have someone like Navs [Josh Navidi] ready, so we felt it was the right time to refresh Taine and give Navs a test run. “
‘Parts and parcels play in the UK’
Wayne Pivac has once again made a discreet appeal to players who want to play for the Wales national team to play for regions of Wales.
Two weeks ago, Pivac said that Louis Rees-Zammit did not get him a chance to be called up while playing for Gloucester.
And this week, Saracens’s Nick Tompkins is sidelined through injury.
And Pivac said: “It’s happened to other players in the Six Nations before.
“It’s just a small part if you play in the Premier League you can’t afford to rest. Unfortunately, he chose a bump”
‘Not the first time’
Commenting on Tomas Francis’ head injury, Biggar added: “There are many such incidents, this is not the first case of boys being hit.
“I ended up doing a few things. There will be people who have opinions about it. As long as he gets through the protocol, I don’t think we should do too much about it.
“We are not experts in those areas. If the people who passed him on are suitable, that is not our profession. It is because of the independent and excellent medical team.
“It’s a lot of ‘let’s move on from it’. He is considered suitable”
Big loss of concentration
Wales captain Dan Biggar has faced media coverage of Tomos Francis’ head injury.
Francis was seen clutching his head after a headbutt and Wales have been criticized for allowing him to return to the pitch at Twickenham and pick him up again this evening.
But Biggar says: “The circus around it is probably bigger than it is to us,” he said.
“We have an excellent team. They won’t take unnecessary risks. Their first stop is health and safety. Always has been, because that’s a big deal. , it will always be a bit of an exaggeration.
“If Franny doesn’t play right, then he won’t be in. He’s gone through everything and is looked at by independents.
“We fully believe in this process and try to move on with it. We focus on professionals and the professionals we have in our camp. “
Wales will host France before 10,000 seats are available tonight – a rare venue when a team of the size of France arrives in Cardiff.
UDTL has been criticized for increasing the cheapest ticket price by £100 for the match.
The uncertainty of Covid during the first sale in December, as well as minimal support for tourism in France and the shortage of hotel rooms commonly found in Cardiff are also believed to have contributed to the number of visitors. low prediction
Before the game, Wayne Pivac said: “There are a few seats left. It’s great to see those seats filled.”
Wales has a slight advantage over France in terms of head-to-head record.
The Dragons have won 51 of their encounters with France’s 47, with three draws being played between the sides.
However, France has dominated since Warren Gatland left in 2019.
The French won 27-23 in the Six Nations at the Principality Stadium in 2020.
They then comfortably beat the Welsh 38-21 in a friendly later that year before claiming an epic 32-30 win at the 2021 Six Nations in Paris.
While Wales may be best known for their rivalry with England, there is absolutely no love lost between Wales and this French side.
Last year, France head coach Fabian Galthie accused the Dragons of getting players sent off.
“If you look at the Welsh players, it feels like they specialize in getting opponents red cards,” he said.
Galthie made the comments after Paul Willemse was sent off during a match in Paris which France eventually won.
He added: “Their body language is quite clear. I hope the referees consider that. I don’t think he deserves to be sanctioned.
“If you watch the video it’s clear there’s no contact, or if there’s obviously very limited. It’s not voluntary at all.
“I believe we need to share this. I don’t understand why he should be sanctioned.”
France also had Sebastien Vahaamahina in their World Cup loss to Wales, but there were few complaints that day when he elbowed Aaron Wainwright wickedly.
Open for elements
A decision has been made on the roof of the famous Principality Stadium for tonight’s game.
And Wales fans will be very disappointed to hear that it will HANDLING.
Although today is a rainy day in Cardiff, which has often caused roof closures in the past, a decision has been made to keep it open this evening to control the spread of Covid.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is expecting a thrilling match against France tonight.
But he has no illusions about the challenge his side will face, as he has called France “the best team in the world”.
Pivac commented: “Both sides want to play an entertaining brand of rugby and I think you are here at the moment who is probably the best team in the world in France.
“We’ve definitely had a couple of great games against them lately, so I think that’s going to be a disruptor.”
Thank goodness it’s Friday
Wales hosts France as they want to end Les Bleus’ hopes of winning a Grand Slam.
And they have an extra incentive to do so because that’s exactly what the French did to them in Paris last year.
There, Brice Dulin crossed the line in additional time to win a epic 32-30 for France, after they finished with 14 men against Wales ’13.
Wales enjoyed a lot of success against France under head coach Warren Gatland before that, even excluding them from the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
But that is not the case for incumbent Wayne Pivac, to whom they have lost all three times against France.
And they will be desperate to get there tonight after their defeat to England two weeks ago.
The Welshman had three tries one for Eddie Jones’ men but that wasn’t enough to secure a win as they trailed 23-19.
France meanwhile was virtually unstoppable last week when they crushed Scotland 36-17 at Murrayfield