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Wales vs France: Gatland to end Six Nations campaign in style

Wales vs France Match Preview and Predictions

Wales can secure a top-two finish for the fourth time in seven seasons with a bonus-point victory over France at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

With both sides heading into their final game in good spirits, that scenario looks unlikely with France yet to concede more than two tries from their four matches.

A much-changed Wales team racked up 30+ points for the second home game in a row with a 38-14 victory over Italy last weekend to move into second place, whilst France made it two wins on the spin with a deserved 22-16 success against England.

Team news

Wales coach Warren Gatland has made seven changes to the starting line-up with captain Alun Wyn Jones returning to the side and Leigh Halfpenny, Scott Williams, Dan Biggar and Josh Navidi also set to feature.

France have made just three changes for the trip to Cardiff. Captain Guilhem Guirado is out with a knee injury and is replaced by hooker Adrien Pelissie. Cedate Gomes Sa also comes into the front row to replace Rabah Slimani. Full-back Hugo Bonneval comes out of the side and is replaced by winger Gael Fickou, with Benjamin Fall switching to 15.

Match-up history and facts

The hosts go into the game as 2/7 favourites in the Wales vs France betting to win their third match of the competition and their recent home record against Les Bleus suggests they can win by a margin of between 8-14 points at 49/20.

Wales have won the last three contests with France at the Principality Stadium by nine, 11 and seven points so the spread has been hit in two of their last three games.

Winning by more than eight points looks a tough task bearing in mind France have not lost by more than six in this season's competition, but the win against England will have taken a lot out of their players. Wales, on the other hand, have been able to bring back many of their big guns like Halfpenny and Biggar after resting several players for the win against whipping boys Italy last Sunday.

Gatland was unhappy with the discipline shown by some of his players against Italy, but with second place on the line Liam Williams has been spared from the axe after he was sin-binned for a late tackle, moving to the wing with Halfpenny starting at full-back.

"Saturday is a huge opportunity for us to finish the campaign well at home in front of our fans," said Gatland. "We have picked a team and a squad we believe can deliver this weekend against France."

That tells us Gatland's need to lay down the law is secondary to picking an experienced team and with home sides dominating the Six Nations, Wales are expected to conclude their campaign in style.

Wales vs France Betting Tip

Wales to beat France by between 8-14 points @ 49/20

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Warren Barner
@warren_barner in Rugby Union