Preview: Wales v France talking points

Principality Stadium in Cardiff

Wales and France will bring the curtain down on this season's Six Nations Championship when they clash in Cardiff on Saturday. Here, we look at some of the talking points ahead of the game.

Can Wales feel satisfied if they claim Six Nations runners-up spot?

Victory for the home side is likely to confirm second place behind champions Ireland, and that would represent a reasonable return from their campaign. Wales went into the Six Nations season without injured British and Irish Lions Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Taulupe Faletau, and although Biggar and Faletau have now returned to Test match action, head coach Warren Gatland's resources were undoubtedly tested. In terms of planning towards next year's World Cup, though, squad depth development has been notable. All things considered, it has so far proved a solid tournament.

How much pressure is on Wales fly-half Dan Biggar?

A considerable amount, has to be the answer. Injured for the early Six Nations skirmishes, he was handed Wales' number 10 shirt against Ireland, but it proved a disappointing afternoon for him. Rhys Patchell and Gareth Anscombe, meanwhile, impressed when given starts against Scotland and Italy, respectively, so Biggar has two quality operators breathing down his neck. The Northampton-bound playmaker has 61 caps' worth of experience and been Wales' premier fly-half for a long time, but there is now genuine competition for a position crucial to the team's overall success.

Can France back up their victory over England with another win?

Successive defeats at the start of the Six Nations against Ireland and Scotland were followed by Les Bleus toppling Italy and England, suggesting that new head coach Jacques Brunel is getting his feet under the table. France's record in Cardiff is poor - they have not beaten Wales there since 2010 - yet if they can repeat the power game that accounted for England and reduce their penalty count, then away day success cannot be discounted, but the difference in what might be a close-fought affair could be the absence of injured France captain Guilhem Guirado.

How much of a threat is France skipper Mathieu Bastareaud?

Toulon centre Bastareaud tips the scales at comfortably over 18 stone, and he will be a huge threat to Wales. After starting this season's Six Nations by serving a ban for using homophobic language towards an opposition player in a European club game, he ends it by taking over leadership duties from an absent Guirado. Bastareaud's game inevitably revolves around his physical power, and if Wales start missing tackles then he has the ability to run riot. It is easier said than done to stop him in his tracks, but that is what Wales must do or France are likely to be on their way towards victory.

Are Wales' forwards equipped to overcome a juggernaut French pack?

Les Bleus' win against England last weekend might not be remembered for the quality of rugby on show, but France certainly left a mark in the physical exchanges. A solid set-piece game was enhanced by a dominant display at the key breakdown area, and in Montpellier flanker Yacouba Camara they possessed an all-action performer that England could not shackle. Wales, though, have gone well up front this season, building their work on a strong set-piece department, and they will relish the challenge. The work in tandem of Wales' back-row - Justin Tipuric, Josh Navidi and Faletau - will be crucial to victory hopes.

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