France are only too aware of the mathematical equation that awaits them if they are to win the Guinness Six Nations.
However coach Fabien Galthié insists it has not changed the team’s preparations ahead of their Super Saturday clash with Wales in Paris.
Les Bleus need to win against the Grand Slam-chasing Welsh team, either with a bonus point, or denying their opponents one, to stay in the hunt for the title.
They would then have their fate in their own hands when they host Scotland the following Friday.
So while Galthié has spoken with his team about the permutations they face, the most important goal is to win on Saturday and stay in the race.
He said: “It’s true that we’ve looked at the context briefly but it doesn’t change much in terms of our preparation. It’s always a balance between analysis and practical. The focus is on performing as well as we can. The objective is to win the game, we have to be competitive on Saturday.”
France had really struggled against Wales in recent years but started to turn the tables in 2020 with two wins over Wayne Pivac’s men.
The first of those came in Cardiff in the Guinness Six Nations, a first away win in Wales in a decade.
That 27-23 victory was a springboard for Les Bleus, with Galthié acknowledging just how important a game it was.
He added: “Last year it was our first away game. It was important to stand up and be counted, to be up to the challenge of that game in a particular context. There was a crowd, the Welsh were coming off a Grand Slam and a defeat in the World Cup semi-final to the eventual winners. It was important to show that France could compete against an opponent like that. There was motivation to make history.
“Wales come to us on top of the table at the moment. They have a strong culture and unquestionable leadership. The players know how to bounce back and they lead the competition.”