Discipline key to beating France, says Wales lock Rowlands

Wales lock Will Rowlands believes the key to victory against Six Nations leader France in Cardiff on Friday will be to be disciplined and take the opportunities that arise.

Wales, the defending champions, are fifth in the table on five points after three games with one win and two defeats, while France have won all three matches and lead the standings with 14 points.

"It's about being disciplined in your game management. When the opportunities are on to obviously try and be quite clinical and keep hold of the ball and put their team under pressure," Rowlands said.

Wales' last match was a narrow 23-19 defeat by England, in which they rallied after a poor first half and nearly staged a remarkable comeback.

"We need to focus on putting our best foot forward and from the outset doing what we did in the second half against England, doing that in both halves against France – starting well," Rowlands said.

Contending with France's lethal attack and ability in the breakdown is likely to be the biggest challenge.

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"Looking at France the thing we've taken from it is they don't play much in their own half, they tend to kick the ball up. When they do go forward all bets are off and anything happens really," Rowlands said.

"Lots of offloading out of the contacts, lots strong forward runners coming at you around the breakdown, so you've really got to be on your toes and ready for anything."

Coach Wayne Pivac named Josh Navidi in the side despite the flanker only recently recovering from a dislocated shoulder that kept him out for five months, primarily for the 31-year-old's skill at clearing out the attacking ball.

Seb Davies will also make his first appearances of the tournament as Pivac made four changes from the team that lost to England, extending his streak of not picking the same side consecutively in his 26 games in charge.

"I think that probably reflects that there's a good amount of competition in the squad, which from a planning point of view is a good thing," Rowlands added.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk, editing by Ed Osmond)

Artmotion Asia

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