Sam Warburton wants better display against France

Sam Warburton has targeted Wales producing a better performance than in victory over Ireland when they conclude their RBS 6 Nations campaign on Saturday.

Sam Warburton

Flanker Warburton lines up in an unchanged team following the 22-9 success against Ireland for a Paris appointment with France.

Wales outscored Ireland 3-0 on tries, while they have not lost in the French capital since 2011, but Warburton wants to see an improvement.

"We are pleased with the way we played against Ireland, but there weren't a lot of pats on the back,'' former Wales captain Warburton said.

"There were a lot of times when, in the second half, we made errors where we shouldn't have done, and we could have lost that game.

"So we have still got a bit of an edge about us, because we want to put those things right and put in a better performance against France.

"We've had some great wins out there - we won out there in 2013 and that turned that championship around - so the boys have good experiences out there.

"You know what France are like. They are probably going to want to look to their driving game, and they have got some fantastic ball-carriers, not just in the pack but in their back line as well.

"I think one thing that helped us (against Ireland) was that the ball was in play for 46-47 minutes, and, more often than not, when the ball is in play that amount of time, we tend to win more matches than we lose.

"So that will be a target for us, to try to keep the ball on the park and back our fitness levels."

Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley has predictably retained the starting line-up that accounted for Ireland five days ago.

It means that Bath forwards Luke Charteris and Taulupe Faletau remain among the replacements as Wales target a sixth straight victory over Les Bleus.

Hooker Ken Owens, meanwhile, wins his 50th cap, and captain Alun Wyn Jones becomes the first Welshman to start 100 Tests for his country.

If Wales win - and England beat Ireland in Dublin on Saturday - then Howley's men will secure a top-four world ranking place ahead of the 2019 World Cup pool draw in May.

Scarlets forward Owens has been one of Wales' form players this season, and he follows flanker Justin Tipuric in clocking up a half-century after Tipuric reached the milestone against Ireland.

Despite suffering successive Six Nations defeats against England and Scotland this season, Wales are now targeting a top-three finish, while they could even secure runners-up spot behind England if they win and other results work for them this weekend.

Howley said: "I was delighted for the players at Friday's result and performance, and they deserve the opportunity to build on that in our final RBS 6 Nations encounter.

"The experience we showed and the intensity we brought to the match was hugely important, and that will be just as important as we face a good France team at home.

"For us, there are areas of the game we want to work on from Ireland, and we have an opportunity to do that on Saturday and finish the campaign with another quality performance."

Paying tribute to Owens, meanwhile, Wales assistant coach and former Test hooker Robin McBryde added: "The front five has gelled together in this campaign, and that has definitely allowed Ken to shine in his work around the field.

"He is up there with one of the best ball-carrying hookers with regard to his ability to spin in the tackle and his ball presentation. He has got great off-loading skills as well.

"Ken ticks all the boxes with regard to the modern-day hooker, if you like, and all that work is on top of his work at the set-piece. He has been part of a very solid scrum and very solid lineout.'"

Recently Played

  • Now playing: Non-stop hit music

Local

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.