Six Nations 2014: Roberts set for 'emotionally charged' France clash

RBS Six Nations: Wales v France

  • Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • Date: Friday, 21 February
  • Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; live text on the BBC Sport Website

Centre Jamie Roberts says Wales are ready for an "emotionally charged" clash with France after their "unacceptable" defeat to Ireland.

Defending Six Nations champions Wales face an unbeaten France at the Millennium Stadium on Friday.

Wales will be looking to bounce back from their 26-3 defeat to Ireland in Dublin two weeks ago.

Continue reading the main story

George North's turn of pace and agility for a man that big is frightening

Jamie Roberts Wales centre

"We came up short against Ireland and the players know it was unacceptable," said Roberts.

"The only people who can change this is us.

"It is important the focus is there and everything is geared towards an emotionally charged and correct 80 minutes on Friday night.

"We know when we come up against the French we are coming up a side which has won two from two.

"They are a team which can play with flair, [but] first and foremost a physical game with their big carriers getting into the game.

"Their set-piece is usually very good and we cannot afford to turn up like we did out in Dublin."

Wales kicked off their Six Nations title defence with a 23-15 victory over Italy in Cardiff.

But coach Warren Gatland described the manner of Wales' defeat to the Irish as one of the worst in his six-year reign.

Wales have beaten Les Bleus on the last two occasions the sides have met in the Six Nations.

But France travel to Cardiff buoyed by beating England and Italy in Paris in their opening two matches.

Roberts says ending France's unbeaten run is not Wales' prime motivation but producing a performance to rid them of the memory of the display in Dublin.

Wales' Six Nations fixtures

  • 21 Feb: France (h)
  • 9 March: England (a)
  • 15 March: Scotland (h)

"The fact we are facing France doesn't add anything extra, but the fact we lost in Dublin is huge," said Roberts, who plays his club rugby in France for Racing Metro.

"For us and where we have set our standards in the Six Nations, it was very disappointing.

"That is from one to 23, the coaches and backroom staff; everyone was gutted really.

"I suppose the measure of a man is how you respond and that certainly rings very true this week.

"Everything has to go into a massive 80 [minutes] Friday night."

Roberts will play with a new centre partner against the French, having seen Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies both ruled out with injury.

Wing George North is favourite to move into the vacant centre berth to partner Roberts.

Roberts is relishing the prospect of playing alongside the 21-year old: "George is a fantastic player.

"His physical attributes, from a rugby perspective, are incredible - he is a Shane Williams but at 17st.

"His turn of pace and agility for a man that big is frightening. Everybody can see the damage he does and he is truly a world-class talent."