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Big finish would be fitting reward for staff: Navidi

 

Top honours: Josh Navidi has hailed Wales’ coaching set-up
Top honours: Josh Navidi has hailed Wales’ coaching set-up

By Andrew Baldock

Josh Navidi wants Wales' World Cup squad to give the departing coaching staff "a send-off they deserve".

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Head coach Warren Gatland and two of his current team - defence specialist Shaun Edwards and forwards coach Robin McBryde - are leaving their posts following the tournament.

A 12-year association will end on Sunday if Wales lose their quarter-final clash against France in Oita.

But the Six Nations champions have no intention of seeing a so-far memorable World Cup adventure end two weeks inside the distance.

"We want them to finish on a high and, how long they've been around, we want them to finish on a positive and give them the send-off they deserve," back-row forward Navidi said.

"It would be nice to get that send-off and hopefully we keep moving forward in this competition.

"We kept taking it game by game in the pool stage and that's our mindset now.

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"It (Gatland's legacy) speaks for itself, with the Grand Slams and all the campaigns he has been part of, and what we've achieved as a nation from the start (of his time) to where we are now.

"What he has brought to Wales speaks for itself and hopefully we can continue this campaign now and keep pushing."

Wales lost to France in a controversial 2011 World Cup semi-final when captain Sam Warburton was sent off just 17 minutes into the match. But they have beaten Les Bleus seven times from eight attempts since, including a spectacular Six Nations success last season when Wales fought back from a 16-0 interval deficit to triumph.

"We know what is on the line - similar to Ireland (Grand Slam game last season) - and what is at stake," Navidi said.

"It's knockout rugby now," he added.

Wales

France

World Cup quarter-final:

Oita, Sunday, 8.15am

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