'We need to pick ourselves up' - France rally ahead of Cardiff trip

Philippe Saint-Andre’s side want to finish on a high by beating Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Friday.

Julien Pierre. finish on a high.
Julien Pierre. finish on a high.
Image: AFP

FRANCE ARE DETERMINED to ruin Wales’ grand slam party as they look to end their Six Nations campaign on a high.

Any hopes Philippe Saint-Andre’s side had of winning the tournament ended when they lost 24-22 to England last weekend.

But lock Julien Pierre said there were no thoughts of exiting the tournament with a whimper against a Welsh side which is looking to finish the tournament undefeated.

“We need to pick ourselves back up quickly after England,” Pierre said. ”We want to win and prevent them from doing the Grand Slam. We also want to prove over there in the Millennium where the atmosphere is going to be crazy that we the French team could have won the tournament.”

In the last meeting between the two sides, France triumphed to reach the World Cup final in a dramatic game in New Zealand, and wing Alexis Palisson said they were expecting the Welsh to be out for revenge.

“They’ll be frustrated about that match game. They played a great game. We hear about revenge a lot. They will be playing for the grand slam. So yes we are expecting a difficult match,” Palisson said.

“We know how they play. We know their rugby and they play it well. So like I said it’s going to be a difficult game.  The problem is that two years ago, Wales used to struggle from the 60th to the 80th minute of the match. Now they play well for the whole game.”

France can still finish as high as second on the Six Nations table, but scrum half Dimitri Yachvili is not expecting Wales to go down without a fight.

“For 80 minutes, we expect a tough fight. They know how to keep the ball. They have very strong players all the way down the back line,” Yachvili said. ”They’ve being playing the same way for several years now. They are very powerful. So we’re trying to keep our minds fresh and keep up our energy to block them and be ready for the challenge.”

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