Gatland: 'We desperately want to win' as Wales host France in Six Nations

Wales go into the match hoping to not edge closer to an unwanted record - becoming the first Welsh team to lose all five Six Nations matches in 21 years. Credit: PA Images

Warren Gatland says his Wales side "desperately" want to end their losing Six Nations run as he look ahead to welcoming France to the Principality Stadium.

Sunday's visitors have, at times, looked a shell of their 2023-selves, highlighted by a comprehensive defeat against Ireland and a home draw with Italy. However, they have beaten Wales in their last four outings.

Wales go into the match hoping not to edge closer to an unwanted record - becoming the first Welsh team to lose all five Six Nations matches in 21 years.

Gatland said: “We need to win, and that is what Test match rugby is all about."

“We desperately want to win. We feel we have been going OK and we want to try and put a complete performance together.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland during a team run at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Credit: PA Images

“We know we are on a journey, but we are trying to fast-track things as quickly as possible. A win on Sunday would be a good stepping stone for that.

“Whether they (France) come here to throw the ball around or play an off-loading game, or whether they go for being a bit more brutal upfront and play for territory, we have just got to make sure we are prepared for anything.

“We are desperate to get that win. We know we are not quite there and there is a lot of work to do, but we have put ourselves in games and put teams under pressure.

“They (France) have got a huge pack, but that is the challenge for us, it is about moving their pack around. We saw what happened to them against Italy, that they do tire and that creates opportunities.”

Gatland has made four changes to his team who faced a bruising outing in Dublin, including a new centre pairing of Joe Roberts and Owen Watkin.

George North, Wales’ most experienced Six Nations squad member, and Nick Tompkins have made way.

Gatland said: “We just wanted to give Joe an opportunity. He is a left-foot (kicking) option as well, and he has been training well.

“I thought they (North and Tompkins) were outstanding during the World Cup. Again, it is a chance for us to look at a few other players.

“George and I have had some honest discussions about whether he gets through to the next World Cup (in 2027). He started at a very young age, I think at 18 he was playing for Wales.

“Part of our discussions were about how we manage him, how do we look after him going forward?

“We’ve just got to make sure we have got some depth in that 13 position. That is why Joe gets an opportunity.

“I must say how the two boys (North and Tompkins) have responded after the disappointment of being left out this week. They has been fantastic in the way they have trained and helped the team.”

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