Six Nations

Roberts not counting of recent history when Wales host France

Jamie Roberts has warned Wales that recent history will count for little when they host France in a crucial Six Nations contest at the Principality Stadium on Friday.

Wales have beaten France in each of the past four Six Nations tournaments and another win would represent their best run against Les Bleus in the competition since a six-match winning streak between 1952-57.

Moreover, Warren Gatland's men are unbeaten in this year's tournament having followed up an opening-round 16-16 draw against Ireland with an entertaining 27-23 victory versus Scotland.

However, centre Roberts - a scorer and Man of the Match against Scotland - has urged Wales' current crop to write their own history and not focus on the past against France.

"The recent record against France counts for nothing. The fact we beat them last year doesn't count for anything," Roberts told the Welsh Rugby Union's official website.

"We have a good record which gives us confidence, but we have to deliver for 80 minutes. We know we have another few gears to go through and we're looking forward to a great test match and the lads are mentally right up for it.

"A confident French team is a dangerous French team - I've experienced that in the past. They are coming off the back of two good victories and they will be coming to Cardiff with lots of confidence."

Roberts is right to err on the side of caution against a France side that remain one of two teams alongside England in the hunt for the coveted Grand Slam.

Guy Noves has overseen two wins from two as France head coach, a narrow escape in a 23-21 beating of Italy was backed up with a bruising 10-9 triumph against Ireland.

France now have the chance to win three matches on the spin in the same Six Nations for the first time since 2010, when they rounded out the Grand Slam.

But full-back Maxime Renard, who scored the winning try versus Ireland, insists France - who note five changes from round two - have nothing to celebrate yet.

"We won two matches while struggling. We have not won anything yet and with a dangerous trip to Wales we have nothing to brag about at the moment," he said.

"They are a very powerful team in both attack and defence. They come up very quickly and we know this match will be completely different to the first two."

Wales coach Warren Gatland, who last went head-to-head with Noves when his Wasps side beat Toulouse in the 2004 Heineken Cup final, makes three changes to his starting line-up.

 

Key Opta stats:

- Wales have won their last four Six Nations games against France, their best run since winning six on the trot between 1952 and 1957.
- France have won just three of their last 12 away games in the Six Nations with these victories coming in either Italy or Scotland (twice).
- Warren Gatland’s side are unbeaten in six games in this competition, their best such run since winning eight on the bounce between 2007 and 2009.
- France are looking for three consecutive victories in the same edition of a Six Nations tournament for the first time since 2010, when they won the Grand Slam.
- France have always gone on to win the Six Nations after winning their opening three games of the tournament (2002, 2004, 2007 & 2010).