Wales vs France Prediction: Welsh to frustrate the desperate French

 | March 09 | 

3 mins read

Alex Cox Rugby Union

Wales host France at the Millennium Stadium in the Six Nations on Sunday afternoon (15:00). After almost losing to Italy last week, the French fans are in despair. However, they’ll receive no sympathy in Cardiff, with the Welsh smelling blood in the water.

Wales came into the Six Nations with fairly low expectations, due to the significant squad turnover that Gatland has had to oversee. They have certainly shown signs of what the future could bring, but there is obviously a fair way to go first.

Wales vs France Betting Tips

  • Wales +7.0 @ EVS

Wales' defence at times has been heroic and although their attack has not quite clicked, the heart, passion and pride they show whilst wearing the red Welsh jersey is evident. They have made a few interesting tweaks to positions and combinations this week, in a bid to achieve an underdog win against the French.

The French have had a very poor tournament to date, with one win, one draw and one loss. Without the Garbisi penalty miss, and that controversial disallowed try at Murrayfield, it could well have been three losses in a row. Galthie has had no option but to ring the changes, to try and spark a French resurgence. To date, they have lacked cohesion in the midfield and at times, looked lost. When they have managed to get into good positions, they spilled position unnecessarily and its prevented them from cumulating points.

This clash will be under the roof in Cardiff, and I expect to see the Welsh rally together and frustrate this French side for the full 80 minutes and ultimately keep it a close contest.

Team News: 

Wales

Still searching for their first win of the Championships, Gatland has made 5 changes to the side that were defeated in Dublin a fortnight ago. Thomas, Elias and Assiratti start in the front-row this week, with Rowlands and Beard in behind him. Interestingly Gatland has moved skipper Jenkins from Lock to 6, presumably to increase the pack weight in a bit to match the French size up-front. Reffell – who has impressed throughout the Championship – continues at 7, with Wainwright rounding out the back-row.

Tomos Williams and Costelow continue their half-back changes but Gatland has reshuffled the midfield. No Tompkins or North this week, instead Waktin and Roberts will partner up. No changes to the back-three, with Dyer, Adams and Winnett all present again this week.

France

Galthie is certainly under pressure this week and has made 8 changes – including 3 debutants - in an attempt to turn his fortune around. Baille, Marchand and Antonio are the front-row trio as Mauvaka drops to the bench this week. The first of the debuts is Lock Meafou, an 145kg monster that will offer some strong ball carrying and he’ll be joined by his Toulouse clubmate Flament. Cros and Ollivon will be on the Flanks and Captain Alldritt returns from injury to join the back-row. It’s certainly a strong French pack!

There are more changes in the backline, some tactical and some injury replacements. Lucu has not performed well this Championship so Le Garrec gets his chance to start at Scrum half this week. With Jalibert injured, Ramos has been asked to move from 15 to 10 this week. No Danty this week, meaning a debut for Depoortère at 12, with the ever-present Fickou joining him in the midfield. Penaud and Bielle-Biarrey continue on the wings and the final debut comes at Full-back with Barre set for his first Test Match.

Bet reasoning

The French have not been able to cover a +7.0 handicap in their last 13 visits to Cardiff, with the last one being 24 years ago. Although I expect to see an improvement this week in the French, I think a Welsh side with a point to prove and an underdog tag, is extremely dangerous.

Wales +7 at EVS

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