Jacques Brunel heaps pressure on Wales ahead of RWC quarter-final

‘They’re the favourites’: France coach Jacques Brunel heaps pressure on Wales ahead of Rugby World Cup quarter-final… while Warren Gatland insists Dan Biggar is fit to start

  • France have been unconvincing thus far and go into this match as underdogs 
  • Jacques Brunel’s team haven’t’ played in two weeks due to Typhoon Hagibis
  • Wales are favourites but France have the ability to trouble them, says Brunel  
  • Coach Warren Gatland confirms Dan Biggar is fit despite two recent concussions

France are revelling in the underdog tag ahead of their quarter-final clash with Wales.

Jacques Brunel’s men have been unconvincing at the Rugby World Cup so far, and have not played for 14 days after their England match was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

They have been able to pick star No 9 Antoine Dupont and winger Damian Penaud, who have recovered from back and groin injuries, and have handed the captaincy back to Guilhem Guirado, who starts at hooker.

Coach Jacques Brunel still believes France have the capabilities to hurt Wales on Sunday

Scrum-half Antoine Dupont (L) and captain Guilhem Guirado will both start the quarter-final

But they are convinced Wales are favourites for Sunday’s match in Oita.

‘Wales’s confidence is higher than ours, that’s obvious,’ said Brunel.

‘Their ranking is much better. They’ve been consistent for a few seasons. That’s undeniable.

‘They’re the favourites. We’re in the role of the underdog. That’s logical, normal, but it doesn’t stop us believing in our chances.

‘We’ll need a lot of courage, enthusiasm, determination, and drive in everything we do. We have the ability to trouble them.’ 

Wales coach Warren Gatland has led his side to four wins out of four so far in the tournament 

For Wales, Dan Biggar starts despite picking up two concussions against Australia and Fiji, and Warren Gatland explained that the fly-half is fine but if he picks up another blow he might need to be stood down.

‘He felt better after the game, it was clear,’ he said.

‘So we went through and made sure, consulted the right people and making sure that they were aware of everything, got him scanned, (and consulted an) independent consultant – that was important.

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is crucially deemed fit enough to start despite two concussions 

‘He’s desperate as a player to play but we’ve been conscious as George North in the past has had a few knocks and so have other players.

‘We’ve just got to make sure if it does happen, if he gets a knock in the next few games or the next couple of months, obviously there would probably be a different course of action.

‘But he’s very confident that he’s 100 percent.’  

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