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Gatland wary of 'wounded' France

Wales have been warned to beware a "wounded bull" at the Stade de France on Saturday night.

Victory over France could prove enough to give Wales a first RBS 6 Nations title since their 2008 Grand Slam campaign. That would also hinge on Ireland crushing title favourites England in Dublin, but Wales might never have a better chance of capitalising on possible fragile French confidence following Les Bleus' shock 22-21 defeat against Italy last weekend.

"We are just concentrating on ourselves and getting ourselves right for Saturday night," said Wales coach Warren Gatland. "France are really dangerous when they are a wounded bull, and for the players coming in this weekend it is a great opportunity for them to make a mark."

He added: "With World Cup selection a few months away, they will be extremely motivated and see it as an opportunity, and for the players re-selected they will be disappointed by their loss in Rome, so we are expecting a desperate French team to come out against us.

"We are going into the final round of the championship in second place and still with a shot at the title. That's pleasing, but it is not good enough yet - we need to finish the job and win in France.

"That is the only element of this weekend we can control, and it is vitally important that we maintain our focus on what will be one of the toughest challenges of this campaign.

"The luxury we have is that we are going to know the results of the other two games beforehand. I think Ireland have got a chance of beating England in Dublin, it's a tough place to go.

"It is important we go out and play positively, and the key for us is to be a lot more clinical than we have been."

Gatland has called up 18-year-old wing George North and selected fit-again prop Adam Jones as respective replacements for knee injury victim Shane Williams and Craig Mitchell (dislocated shoulder).


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