WALES are just one win away from securing a Six Nations Grand Slam and on Saturday, March 20, they face one of their toughest tests of this year’s tournament.
They will take on France at the Stade de France in Paris at 8pm and a win will see them earn the Grand Slam once again having last done so in 2019.
On that occasion they beat France in the first game of the tournament with a 24-19 win in Paris.
Two George North tries on that occasion helped Wales to victory and he will be looking to be involved again on Saturday.
Last year’s game at the Principality Stadium saw France come out on top with a 23-27 win and Les Blues still harbour hopes of securing the Six Nations title this year.
Their game with Scotland was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in their squad, and that game is still to be played.
Should France pull off a bonus point win this weekend, another bonus point win against the Scots will be enough to give them the title.
Wales could scupper France’s chances if they pick up a losing bonus point on Saturday but they don’t want to win the title that way.
Wayne Pivac’s men will want to finish the tournament in style and a fifth win in a row will cap a remarkable turnaround for Wales.
They only won 3 of Wayne Pivac’s ten games in charge in 2020, but the work they have done has led them to where they are today.
Wales won 48-7 against Italy last weekend and although they may not have got the finish they wanted, they still ran in seven tries with Ken Owens scoring two of them.
Josh Adams, George North, Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit were also on the scoresheet last weekend and the side will be full of confidence going into the game with France.
Wales team to face France
Wales team to face France: Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, James Botham, Tomos Williams, Callum Sheedy, Uilisi Halaholo.
Ken: Wales will be going out to make the country proud
Ken Owens has insisted that Wales will be going out to make the country proud against France after an extremely tough year.
The last 12 months has been the most difficult in many people’s lives with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic causing a number of national lockdowns.
After Guinness Six Nations wins over Ireland, Scotland, England and Italy, now only France stand between Wayne Pivac’s side and a clean sweep.
“It’s been a tough year since Wayne has taken over, but it (a Grand Slam) would be just reward for all the hard work the management and staff and players have put in,” said the 34-year-old Owens.
“For the public in general it would be a huge uplift after a tough year for the country. It would be special if it happens, but we’ve got to go and get the job done before we think about lifting the trophy.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play in a couple of Grand Slam games before this. After the England game I was driving through the village where I live.
“The sun was out and there was a spring in people’s steps. What it makes you realise as players is the effect we can have on people.
“In the last month or so we’ve managed to get some good results which has given people something to smile and cheer about and hopefully we can continue to do that over the next week.”
Triple Crown Praise
Wales have already won this year’s Triple Crown having beaten Scotland, Ireland and England and they have drawn praised from Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones
She congratulated the team on winning the Triple Crown and wished the players well as they attempt to win a grand slam.
Mid and West Helen Mary Jones MS said: “I would like to congratulates the Wales team on securing a Triple Crown in the 2021 Six Nations by beating England in Cardiff last month.
“We all wish the team the best of luck in their final fixture against France as they attempt to secure the Championship and Grand Slam.
“I hope that the Welsh Government and the Senedd Commission can see how they can mark the team’s achievement in some way when coronavirus restrictions allow.
“Let us hope the senior Women’s team can emulate the success of the senior men’s team when they compete in the Women’s Six Nations 2021 tournament next month.”
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