Wales vs France
October 8:15 am Sunday
If they face off for a location at the Rugby World Cup semi-finals on Sunday, wales will look to keep their strong album.
Warren Gatlands side have won seven of their eight meetings with Les Bleus including a stunning 24-19 success in Paris from the first game of the Six Nations Grand Slam-winning effort of the year .
Can Wales move one step closer to providing Gatland the perfect farewell or may the formbook throws out the window at Oita?
In 2015, Wales hobbled their squad ravaged by trauma, to the World Cup quarter-finals.
This time, they are at full strength, together with three key cogs in their backline passed match.
Dan Biggar has followed return-to-play protocols while George North and Jonathan Davies have shaken off, to start at fly-half knocks to start.
It is the same side that started Wales opening two World Cup matches against Australia along with Georgia, underlining Warren Gatlands consistency of choice.
Consistency is a place where France are missing but Damian Penaud continuing on the wing and they also received good news on the injury front, together with Antoine Dupont.
Dupont is most likely among the greatest nines on the planet, he is very strong and very powerful, said Gatland.
Great information for Wales.
This has been Stuart Barnes reaction before this week after hearing Romain Ntamack would begin at fly-half before Camille Lopez.
This has been confirmed on Friday Ntamack keeping his place at the beginning line-up with Lopez supplying chair cover once again.
Lopez began for France if they lost to Wales at the opening match of the Six Nations, kicking nine things. The Clermont 10 brings an boot and architecture to help build strain that is scoreboard, however, Jacques Brunel has gambled on 20-year-old game-breaker Ntamack – on his Evaluation – to lead France.
Brunel has been taken by surprise when he saw Biggars title in the Wales line-up.
Biggar suffered two concussions through the pool stages however, the Welsh Rugby Union stated the fly-half was symptom-free because his crash with Liam Williams.
From the French championship, two concussions is out three weeks, explained Brunel, including that if the Rugby World Cup followed the rules of the Best 14, Biggarcouldnt perform.
But, Gatland said Biggar has gone through each of the return-to-play protocols and that Wales has takenall of the proper precautions.
We made sure concerning consulting the ideal people and making certain that they were conscious of what, getting him scanned, (the) independent consultant – that was significant, Gatland said.
Wales have previous history about a participant coming back something which Gatland referenced on Friday, from concussion.
After being advised to rest by physicians following four concussions in 3 weeks north had five months out in 2015.
Gatlands reign or brunel will come to an end on Sunday, both coaches having already announced theyll step down after the World Cup.
Brunel will be substituted by Fabien Galthie, a man he brought in after Frances latest Nations campaign.
Like those who preceded himBrunel has been not able to drag the French team from its long-term slump. Speculation swirls the 65-year-old hasnt got a handle on his players, so the French might not be far from mutiny. Which is about the norm for France in World Cups.
Gatland wont be underestimating France, who have reached the semi-finals in six of the eight variations of their World Cup. Such as 2011 when they beat against Wales in the semis they went on to make the final, on three occasions.
The message to the players is youve got two choices here: were on the airplane on Monday going home, or were here before the close of the tournament, Gatland said.
Gatland returns home to Hamilton to coach the Chiefs in Super Rugby.
How hed love to return as a World Cup-winning coach, ticking off the box at a yearlong restart.
Losing to France are a disappointing conclusion for his 12-year reign.
Stephen Jones states that Wales 2011 World Cup semi-final defeat against France will producegreat fuel for Sundays showdown at Oita.
Former Wales fly-half Jones went on as a second-half replacement eight decades ago, missing a transformation after skipper Sam Warburton was controversially sent off as Wales endured an defeat.
It is amazing fuel to push you forward to reach your goals, and that is whats, said Jones, whos currently Wales assistant trainer.
This was a tight game. Even if we were down to 14, we fought hard and it could have gone either way.
We had gathered a lot of momentum at that World Cup, and we were in a great place.
It is unfortunate we lost the match and the manner in which we did. There were several experiences of the 2011 World Cup. Yes, it was unsatisfactory. That is sport.
This is a different set of players. That day some were involved, however the vast majority werent. You examine the recent games from France and the boys have had some good success.
Wales: 15 Liam Williams; 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams; 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, two Ken Owens, 3 Tomas Francis; 4 Jake Ball, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c); 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Josh Navidi.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Aaron Shingler, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin.
France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont; 1 Jefferson Poirot, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 3 Rabah Slimani, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 7 Charles Ollivon, 8 Gregory Alldritt.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Emerick Setiano, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Vincent Rattez.