Six Nations 2018: Wales will be 'different animal' against France - Saint-Andre

Philippe Saint-Andre
Philippe Saint-Andre won 69 caps for France and coached them between 2012-2015
Six Nations: Wales v France
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, March 17 Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Former France coach and player Philippe Saint-Andre says Wales will be "a different animal" when they face them at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams have the opportunity to finish second in the Six Nations table, but could drop to fifth with a loss.

Warren Gatland made 10 changes to the side that beat Italy, while France beat England at Stade de France.

Saint-Andre said: "It's a huge game for both teams".

"They [Wales] rested seven or eight key players against Italy... Gatland has targeted this game.

"Wales will try to play with very high tempo and it will be quite interesting to see if the French team are as strong and aggressive as they were against England."

France will be without their captain Guilhem Guirado and full-back Hugo Bonneval. Hooker Guirado has a knee injury while Toulon team-mate Bonneval failed a head injury assessment.

France v Wales 2017
The last time the two sides met in the Six Nations, the game lasted 100 minutes

"They will miss Guirado because he is a fantastic leader," said Saint-Andre, but France have won two consecutive games and "confidence is there."

"They lost against Ireland by a drop goal in injury time and they were ahead in Scotland... so they are not as far off as people think."

"We have some great players like Yacouba Camara, Mathieu Bastareuad and Maxime Machenaud is the best kicker in the Six Nations at the moment... he's only missed one kick."

Saint-Andre, French coach between 2012 and 2015, said it has been a "long time since France beat Wales in Cardiff" and Wales will be "very motivated after they lost in Paris last year in the 100 minute game".

He said France had benefited from not losing players back to their clubs during this year's championship, as they had struggled in previous years when they were playing two extra games on rest weekends.

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