Wales captain Dan Biggar says his side are not thinking about avenging their Grand Slam heartbreak against France on Friday night, insisting they are only focusing on what they can control.
France visit Principality Stadium in Round 4 of the Guinness Six Nations in fine form and are searching for a first Grand Slam title since 2010 after wins in each of their opening three matches.
In contrast, defending champions Wales return to action after losing 23-19 to England last time out, having also suffered a defeat against Ireland on the opening weekend of the Championship.
It is a game of added significance after Wales suffered last-minute heartache in Paris last year – when Brice Dulin struck in the dying seconds to prevent a Welsh Grand Slam – but Biggar does not believe that Wales are seeking revenge for that specifically.
He said: “I certainly don’t think anything is owed; it was unfortunate that we were playing them in that Grand Slam game in Paris 12 months ago.
“We unfortunately couldn’t get past them for one reason or another, we probably have to look at ourselves a little bit in terms of how we managed the last 15 minutes of that game.
“We’ve done reasonably well against France over the last few years, but we realise this French team is very different from the French sides we’ve played over the last few years.
“In terms of the size of the pack, the in-form players they’ve got in their team and obviously the coaching set up and who they’ve brought into the coaching set up.”
Biggar knows that the physical match-up between the two sides is going to be a key area on Friday night, as well as being clinical, something they have perhaps been lacking in recent weeks.
He added: “Physicality is a huge thing for us on Friday, you look at the way they dismantled Scotland last week, a lot of that was down to big carries, getting on top of the ball or being on top defensively and scoring from that.
“We’re going to need to match up physically. Then we’re going to have to make sure we take our opportunities because they’re going to be few and far between. France aren’t going to give us anything on a plate, we’re going to have to earn what we get on Friday night.”
While Biggar and Wales are focusing on their own team and efforts, it is not possible to ignore the form of the French half-backs Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack, who have been standout performers for France under Fabien Galthié.
“It’s pretty obvious that Dupont’s the best player in the World at the moment, in terms of being voted for it and the impact he has with every team he plays for,” said Biggar.
“His partnership with Ntamack has seriously flourished over the past 18 months, they’re in serious form leading that team with a huge French pack in front of them and we’ve spoken about them during the week.
“We’ve tried to focus on getting our own house in order. Obviously we’re very much aware of the threats of the French team and in particular what Dupont and Ntamack are going to bring, but we’re just trying to focus on ourselves and give ourselves the opportunity to put our best foot forward.”