Jenkins: 'We need to step-up' ahead of French clash

Jenkins says the players were "upset" with their performance against Ireland. Credit: PA

Gethin Jenkins is eager to prove the doubters wrong when Wales take on France at the Millennium Stadium tonight.

Wales - the reigning Six Nations champions - suffered a comprehensive defeat to Ireland 13 days ago to leave their title hopes in the balance ahead of the visit by the undefeated French.

This week's build-up has been dominated by Wales coach Warren Gatland delivering a no-nonsense reminder to his players about the standards required.

Scrum-half Mike Phillips has been axed in favour of Rhys Webb and Jenkins is in no doubt that the experienced men in the dressing room need to step up.

Cardiff Blues prop Jenkins said, "There are a lot of words being said, but we just need to get out there and perform now. There are a lot of boys upset with the way we performed (against Ireland) and we know we can do better.

"We (the senior men) are the ones leading the team, we are the ones who drive the standards, who drive training, and when things go wrong the pressure comes on to us because we are the ones leading it. You wouldn't have it any other way.

"We've obviously had a good look at ourselves, and this week has been about building again. We are still in the tournament, and we have still got to aim for four out of five wins."

North will "cause havoc" in his position against France say team mate. Credit: PA

Webb for Phillips apart, Gatland has also recalled fit-again lock Luke Charteris, while 37 times-capped wing George North makes his first start as a Test centre. North's battle opposite French midfield powerhouse Mathieu Bastareaud promises to have a major bearing on Friday's outcome.

North is backed to make his mark by regular wing partner Alex Cuthbert who says,"I think he is going to cause havoc at 13.

"A lot of people have been writing us off this week, but we've been concentrating on ourselves and nothing outside."

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Wales beat France 27-6 to keep 6 Nations hopes alive

Wales put their defeat at the hands of Ireland behind them on Friday, beating France 27-6 at the Millennium Stadium to keep their 6 Nations title hopes alive.