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Charteris just enjoying the ride

Luke Charteris believes it is vital Wales keep enjoying their World Cup experience despite the enormous pressure of a semi-final clash against France.

Charteris and company will run out for the biggest game in Welsh rugby history at Eden Park on Saturday, but the giant Newport Gwent Dragons lock - who is confident of overcoming a shoulder injury to be available for selection - has no doubt that Wales must try to make it business as usual.

"The coaches are trying to keep us relaxed," he said. "We will just enjoy the whole experience. It is new for us and we are just loving it at the moment."

He added: "To make the final would be massive. The (Wales) team in 1987 got to the semi-finals, and they lost there (to New Zealand).

"Unfortunately, we have not been back since then and we are aware of that. For a lot of us, this is our first World Cup. We just want to keep going on."

France have beaten Wales six times from the last seven meetings stretching back to 2005, and Charteris believes Les Bleus' quarter-final victory over England underlined their danger.

"They are a quality team," he said. "On paper, the boys they have playing there are great and there is probably no better team in the world on paper. France will never be underdogs to anybody.

"France knocked out England, and that is no mean feat. Look, we lost our first pool game to South Africa.

"Teams progress, and the longer you are together the better you get, and hopefully it is the same for us as it is for them.

"They are hard to beat and it will be another tough one, but the boys are confident and we are enjoying the whole experience."

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