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Wales hopeful over duo

Wales are hopeful that fly-half Rhys Priestland and lock Luke Charteris will be fit for Saturday's World Cup semi-final against France.

Both players suffered shoulder knocks during the quarter-final victory over Ireland in Wellington two days ago.

Charteris went off at half-time after delivering an outstanding performance, while Priestland departed just before the end of a titanic struggle that Wales won 22-10.

"It is pretty sore, but it should be good to go," Newport Gwent Dragons forward Charteris said at the squad's central Auckland base.

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins added: "On Rhys, we are waiting to see what happens the next couple of days and hopefully he will be fine."

Wales, who are already guaranteed their most successful World Cup since the inaugural tournament 24 years ago, are bidding to reach a first final.

But Jenkins is well aware of the dangers posed by a French team that knocked out England in the last eight and can boast six victories from the last seven starts against Wales.

Wales' only success since 2005 against Les Bleus came during their Six Nations Grand Slam-winning season three years ago.

"Obviously, we know what France are all about. They are a fantastic side and they have beaten us the last three times we played them - we are under no illusions of what is ahead of us," Jenkins said.

"This is certainly the biggest game I have been involved in, and certainly for the players and the same for Welsh rugby history. We have had some fantastic seasons in the past, and we have let ourselves down as well. We would like to keep some consistency, and I think what we have done over the last four years is why we are here."

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