Wales Grand Slam showdown

Sam Warburton with the Triple Crown
Sam Warburton hopes to get his hands on the Six Nations trophy on Saturday Photo: David Davies / PA

Wales line up against France at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday afternoon knowing that victory will secure a Six Nations Grand Slam. Achieving that feat for the third time in eight years would elevate the current team close to the standing of the iconic 1970s side, which secured clean-sweeps in 1971, 1976 and 1978.

The build-up to Saturday's game has been tinged with sadness, after the death of Mervyn Davies, who led the team of 1976. A minute's silence will be held before kick off, and Wales Attack Coach Rob Howley says the death of a man he described as an "icon and legend" would give the current team "even more motivation" to win.

Welsh players and managers have spent a great deal of the week before the Grand Slam decider denying that Saturday's is a revenge mission. A thrilling World Cup campaign came to a bitter ending at the hands of the French in October, with a 9-8 defeat best remembered for captain Sam Warburton's controversial red card.

The atmosphere before this clash has been poisoned by a dispute over the Millennium Stadium's roof, which will remain open at the visitors' request. Wales wanted it shut to ensure a free-flowing game, with rain forecast. France, who have endured a frustrating Six Nations campaign and lost to England last time out, have been painted themselves as underdogs on Saturday.

Wales have been playing super rugby since the World Cup. They are very confident and the big favourites for the Grand Slam. But there is no pressure on us, the pressure is all on Wales.

– France coach Philippe Saint-Andre

75,000 supporters will watch the game inside the stadium, but a quarter of a million in total are expected to head to the capital on Saturday. Economists are predicting £15 million could be made by businesses in Cardiff. A special supporters' village is being set up outside City Hall, while Swansea will also broadcast the game via a big screen.

The results of Wales' 2012 Six Nations games:

  • Ireland 21 - 23 Wales
  • Wales 27 - 13 Scotland
  • England 12 - 19 Wales
  • Wales 24 - 3 Italy

Wales team to face France: L Halfpenny, A Cuthbert, J Davies, J Roberts, G North; R Priestland, M Phillips; G Jenkins, M Rees, A Jones, AW Jones, I Evans, D Lydiate, S Warburton (capt), T Faletau.

Subs: K Owens, P James, L Charteris, R Jones, L Williams, J Hook, S Williams.

France team to face Wales: C Poitrenaud, W Fofana, A Rougerie, F Fritz, A Palisson; L Beauxis, D Yachvili; J-B Poux, W Servat, D Attoub, P Pape, Y Maestri, T Dusatoir (capt), J Bonnaire, I Harinordoquy.

Subs: D Szarzewski, V Debaty, J Pierre, L Picamoles, M Parra, F Trinh-Duc, J-M Buttin.

Wales attacking coach Rob Howley looks ahead to the match