France v Wales: 'They still have a hell of a lot to play for'
SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys believes Wales will face “one of the best teams in the world” when they target Grand Slam glory in the Six Nations on Saturday.
Wales tackle France in Paris, where victory would yield a sixth Six Nations crown and fifth tournament clean sweep.
The Welsh head to the French capital after winning there on three of their past four visits in the competition, but Wales assistant coach Humphreys is braced for a ferocious challenge.
And he does not believe France’s 20-23 loss to England on Saturday will affect Les Bleus’ mindset.
“They still have a hell of a lot to play for, and the DNA of the team does not change,” he said on Tuesday.
“We believe we are going up against one of the best teams in the world, and that we are going to have to be at our very, very best to get what we want from the weekend.
“There is excitement that we are obviously in the hunt for a big prize, but it is contained by the fact we have got a huge game in front of us and we need to be better than we were in all the games before this.”
Senior players vital in build-up to Wales’ #GuinnessSixNations finale in France, says Humphreys 🔴 𝘔𝘢𝘦 𝘤𝘺𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘥𝘢𝘶 𝘦𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘸𝘳 𝘺𝘯 𝘺 𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘧𝘢𝘯 𝘯𝘪, 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘥𝘢𝘪 𝘩𝘺𝘧𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘥𝘸𝘳 𝘺 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘦𝘯𝘸𝘺𝘳.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) March 16, 2021
Wales lost twice to France last year, and Wales forwards specialist Humphreys said the home side would pose a huge physical challenge.
“Collisions are going to be massive in this game,” he said. “I keep on saying it, but to get what we want out of this game, we are going to have to be very clinical and at our very, very best.”
Wales have already won the Triple Crown and European rugby’s two biggest prizes are tantalisingly close.
“There are 25 of this squad who have won big in this tournament,” Humphreys said.
“You are led by that, you are led by Al [captain Alun Wyn Jones], who sets the tone very, very well about this. There is nobody who has been through this more than he has.
“When you have a team meeting and one of those [senior players] stands up and says something, you listen, based on the fact that they have been there, done it and experienced all that stuff. That is worth its weight in gold.”