France will be hoping to take the penultimate step towards a Six Nations Grand Slam when they travel to Cardiff on Friday night.
Only Wales and England now stand between the Blues and glory, with Fabien Galthie’s hugely impressive side firmly on their way to a first title since 2010.
After ousting Italy and facing arch-rivals Ireland, ruthless France secured an emphatic 36-17 bonus-point victory over Scotland at Murrayfield last time out to maintain their 100% record.
They will be favorites to continue this run against a Wales side that remain without a host of experienced players due to injury.
The defending champions fought valiantly after a slow start and a pointless first half against England at Twickenham, even pushing for an unlikely victory in the closing stages thanks to three second-half tries, but ultimately fell short. in a 23-19 loss.
Wayne Pivac’s men had already bounced back from a demoralizing first defeat in Dublin to edge ahead of Scotland at home in the second round.
Wales vs France kick off date, time and venue
The only Friday night fixture on this year’s Six Nations schedule, Wales v France is scheduled to kick off at 8pm GMT on March 11.
The game will take place under the lights of what is sure to be an atmospheric stadium in the Principality of Cardiff.
How to watch Wales v France
TV channel: In the UK, Wales v France is shown live on BBC One, with coverage starting at 7.30pm.
Direct: Fans can also follow the action as it unfolds online via the BBC Sport website or BBC iPlayer.
Live Blog: Standard Sport will also provide live updates on Friday evenings via their dedicated match blog.
Wales vs France Team News
Covid-19 cases forced France coach Galthie to make last-minute changes in naming his squad for this contest on Wednesday afternoon.
Lock Romain Taofifenua and winger Damian Penaud have both tested positive, with the latter’s absence meaning Yoram Moefana will move to the right wing as Gabin Villière returns from injury on the opposite flank.
France could be forced into further changes if a few cases of coronavirus accelerate into an epidemic.
“We were informed this morning that they were positive so we had to make some last minute changes,” Galthie said on Wednesday. “We are preparing to make further changes.”
In a boost for the visitors, reigning World Player of the Year Antoine Dupont has been declared fit after an arm problem.
As for Wales, they must name their team on Wednesday at 2 p.m. GMT.
Reports suggest Seb Davies and Josh Navidi could join Taulupe Faletau in a new back row, although the Welsh are left without the likes of illustrious captain Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric and George North.
Lineups Wales vs France
XV of Wales: To confirm
Replacements: To confirm
XV of France: Jaminet; Moefana, Fickou, Danty, Villiere; Ntamack, Dupont (c); Baille, Marchand, Atonio, Woki, Willemse, Cros, Jelonch, Alldritt.
Replacements: Mauvaka, Gros, Haouas, Flament, Crétin, Lucu, Ramos, Lebel.
Wales vs France head to head (h2h) history and results
This will be the 102nd meeting between these two nations. France have won 47 of the previous matches and Wales 51… with three draws.
France have won each of the last three games, including a dramatic 32-30 triumph in Paris last March that deprived Pivac’s side of a Grand Slam.
Prediction Wales vs France
Wales are hugely lacking in experience, but still showed their fighting qualities against Scotland and England.
A Friday night clash under the lights of the Principality will be a real opportunity to savor and they hope the passionate crowd can help upend and derail France’s Grand Slam dreams.
However, Les Bleus look too good as things stand, combining brute strength with brilliant flair, cunning, ingenuity and a ruthless edge as well as formidable strength through depth.
Their usual meltdown doesn’t seem to be coming this time. Away win.
France wins, by at least eight points.
Wales vs France Odds
Wales win: 7/2
Victory France: 10/11
Antoine Dupont first try scorer: 10/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).