Following an eight-month delay in the finishing of the Six Nations, these two sides go against one another in a friendly to fine-tune their squads for the final round of the tournament next weekend.
It hasn’t been the easiest of starts for Wayne Pivac in the Welsh dugout, with the new coach losing three of his four matches in this years’ Six Nations.
That sole victory came against an Italian outfit that hasn’t won in this tournament since 2015, a run of 25 straight defeats and so it’s hard to give his team too much credit for that 42-0 victory over them, even if it was an impressive showing.
However, defeats in Ireland and at Twickenham sandwiching a disappointing defeat in Cardiff to France has seen them drastically fall down the table to fifth place.
The French team has been in limbo over the last few weeks with the French Rugby League voicing their concern at losing their international players during their Top 14 season, but an agreement has finally been made which will see France’s match-day squads capped at 31, with three games the most any individual player can appear in.
Fabien Galthie has named a fairly strong outfit for this encounter though, with only a few changes being made from the team that lost at Murrayfield before the enforced Covid-19 break.
Indeed, that defeat came in classic French style as they’d won all three of their matches in the build up to that, including victories over England here at Stade de France and Wales in Cardiff, but an early red card for Mohamed Haouas let Scotland overturn them by a comfortable 11-point margin last time out.
Wales +5 Handicap
You’d think they can bounce back from that defeat, but given that ongoing feud between the French Rugby Federation and the league, they’ll only have one full day of active training to prepare for this game.
By contrast, Pivac’s men have had a fortnights preparation which certainly has to play into their hands. Furthermore, the visitors have won five of their nine trips to opposition since June 2018, beating all of Argentina, Italy, Scotland and France themselves.
In fact, Wales certainly won’t be holding back having won eight of the 10 clashes between the two sides since 2012, including three from four at this stadium.
This game has that extra bit of intensity given Wales’ ex-defense coach Sean Edwards now works in the French dugout.
We’re a little surprised to see the current disparity in the prices given that Pivac’s men have been close to putting together some very impressive performances, and as a result, we’ll back them on the handicap.
Wales +5 Point Handicap At 19/20
FRANCE V WALES ODDS AVAILABLE HERE
ODDS ARE CORRECT AS OF 23/10/2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS