Wales wary of France

Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones takes on Scotland’s Finn Russell in his 96th appearance for Wales

Lock Alun Wyn Jones says Wales will be wary of a new-look France side when they meet in Cardiff in round three of the Six Nations.

Les Bleus beat Ireland 10-9 in Paris to claim their second win of the campaign.

After drawing in Ireland on the opening weekend, Wales saw off Scotland on Saturday, and Jones expects a tough French challenge on 26 February.

“We know the quality and calibre of player they have, they can turn it on when they want to,” he said.

“The occasion when they come to the Principality Stadium is going to be a pretty special one. They are a work in progress but they are growing.”

France are in their first campaign under veteran former Toulouse coach Guy Noves, after a heavy defeat against New Zealand in Cardiff saw them exit the World Cup on a low point.

“They’re a typical French side – you don’t know necessarily what’s going to turn up and I think that’s the biggest compliment you can give to a French side” said Jones.

“From our point of view, the first two games we have had have been pretty attritional affairs and from the scoreline of their game, that was in a similar vein.”

Jones believes the Welsh game is also on the up, after he had spoken before the Scotland match of the need to develop a wider game.

“It was a bit of a dogfight at the breakdown at times, I think they probably had the ascendancy in the first half,” he added.

“But when we had the opportunity we made good dents and made something out of it. There’s a definite improvement there but you’ve still got to take those chances.

“It’s good to know we can weather those storms within the game and ultimately get the score.”

Try was ‘fine’, says Davies

Gareth Davies (right) sprints clear for his sixth try in his last seven Wales appearances

Meanwhile, Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies insists he was not offside for the try that set his team on the road to victory over Scotland.

The visitors’ coach Vern Cotter and captain Greig Laidlaw both questioned whether Davies was offside when he collected a loose ball for his early score after a 40-metre dash.

“It came off their player, it was fine” Davies told BBC Wales Sport.

“A great little nudge from Biggs [Dan Biggar], good work from Jamie (Roberts) in the air as he managed to tap it back. I was in the right place at the right time and a decent little finish.”

Davies’ try was his sixth in 12 caps after scoring five at the World Cup, and the first at the Principality Stadium since the name change.

“I didn’t know about that, but my grandmother told me upstairs, so it’s a good little feeling” said Davies.

He admitted to some surprise at learning of France’s victory over Ireland.

“Yes, a little bit, but it’s a decent result for us and we’ve got to make the most of it,” he added.

“I think we’re in a good place. We’ve got a week off [without a match], a training week but we’ll be in nearly every day.

“In the French game hopefully we can be a bit more clinical and come away with a victory.”

Davies has been first-choice since an injury to Rhys Webb in September, but could face a renewed challenge from the Ospreys man later in the tournament if he proves his fitness quickly enough to earn a recall to the squad.

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