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Watch: ‘Quality’ France in the way of another Wales Six Nations Grand Slam

Wales head to Paris on Saturday 80 minutes away from a Six Nations Grand Slam but face a deeply talented France side with title aspirations of their own.

The visitors will clinch a second tournament clean sweep in three years with a win, but can claim the title at the Stade de France with a draw.

Les Bleus must beat Wayne Pivac’s men and then Scotland, in a game rescheduled for March 26, and claim bonus points in both to lift the Championship trophy for the first time since 2010.

“We know we’re going to be in for a very big challenge. They have quality right across the park and they come up with some great plays,” Pivac said.

“We’re going to have to have our wits about us. They bring a lot of attacking threats and they’ve got a very good attacking kicking game.

“It’s two teams that are starting to play some really good rugby and it makes for a mouth-watering final match,” he added 

The sides have three wins apiece in their previous six meetings, which include a  World Cup quarter-final and a success for Fabien Galthie’s side in Cardiff last February.

That defeat was one of seven in Pivac’s first year after succeeding Warren Gatland and inheriting his fellow Kiwi’s well-bonded squad.

Winger Louis Rees-Zammit is the only member of the starting lineup who has yet to be part of a Grand Slam team.

“They have a strong culture, of course, a monstrous amount of collective experience,” Galthie said.

“They know how to bounce back because their tournament last year was very difficult. Until Saturday they’re on top of the table,” Galthie added.

‘Leader’ Jones

Lock Adam Beard is the only change by either coach from last weekend’s fixtures. He starts alongside international record cap holder Alun Wyn Jones, who is seeking his fourth Six Nations Grand Slam, as many as Ireland, England and Scotland combined.

They will face the hulking French second row of Romain Taofifenua and Paul Willemse.

“Jones is their leader, their captain and he’s always very busy, as you see every weekend. He likes to play with the ball in his hands so we have to be aware of him,” Taofifenua said.

Earlier in the day, champions England cross the Irish sea with flanker CJ Stander, originally from the Western Cape, set for his final home game for Ireland after announcing he will retire at the end of the season aged 31.

“I came to the realisation that my commitment to rugby has started to take an unfair toll on my family, who both in Limerick and South Africa have made considerable sacrifices for more than 25 years to allow me to live my dream,” Stander said this week.

England coach Eddy Jones brings Elliot Daly in at centre with Henry Slade out injured as the home side look to claim just a first win in Dublin in the fixture in four years.

Elsewhere, Italy travel to Scotland and are unable to avoid a sixth successive wooden spoon in the competition.

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg moves to fly-half for the hosts as Finn Russell is suffering from concussion.

The Azzurri, who are looking for a first win in the tournament since 2015, have made four changes from last Saturday’s 31st straight Six Nations loss.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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