Wales urged to follow up impressive Ireland win with France victory

Wales have won all five Tests against France since 2011

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Robin McBryde has urged Wales to back up the quality of their Six Nations display against Ireland with another strong performance in Paris on Saturday.

And if Wales can record a sixth successive victory over Les Bleus, it could see them reach new heights of a world top-four ranking.

Such a feat - it also depends on Six Nations champions England beating Ireland in Dublin during the weekend's final round of fixtures - would secure Wales a top tier seeding ahead of May's 2019 World Cup draw in Japan.

They are also chasing runners-up spot in the Six Nations behind England, with Wales heading to the Stade de France following their biggest win against Ireland since 1983.

"That is what good teams do, they back things up, they back performances up with another good performance," Wales assistant coach McBryde said.

"We haven't seen that in this campaign, and this is the last chance for us to be able to do that. So hopefully we can match that (Ireland) performance.

"Albeit we are playing away from home - the surroundings are not as familiar as the Principality Stadium - but that's the challenge, and hopefully we can meet it head-on on Saturday.

"The Six Nations is all about performance, irrespective whether you are in the hunt for the title or not.

"We've just got to back up that performance against Ireland with another good performance against France. We've got to prove it to ourselves that we can do it.

"That level of performance has got to be there, and that is the challenge that is going to be set to whoever is wearing the red shirt on Saturday."

Wales have won all five Tests against France since Les Bleus beat them 9-8 in the 2011 World Cup semi-finals.

But McBryde added: "We've only found out recently with the loss to Scotland (Wales had beaten Scotland nine times in succession) that those records don't stand for anything. It's all on the day.

"We are more than aware of what can happen if you read too much into it and listen to the record books.

"We know they are a very big, physical team, and if some of their off-loads stick early on, the crowd gets behind them and they just grow an extra arm and a leg then.

"We are aware of that, so we've got to be at our best."

Wales went into the final Six Nations phase knowing they had to beat Ireland or France to be among the world's top eight-ranked teams, yet it could now end up being so much better than that by possibly reaching uncharted world ranking territory.

"We can only control what we can control," McBryde said.


North was back to his best against Ireland (Getty)

"Maybe that's in the back of our mind somewhere, but it really has no relevance to how we approach the game. It is all about backing up that performance against Ireland.

"If that means we end up in the top four, then all's good, but the measure of our Six Nations, if we finish on a high then perhaps we will be ruing the opportunities that we missed with the last quarter of an hour against England and second-half against Scotland.

"France have offered quite a few challenges to whoever they've played.

"They were very unlucky against England in the opening game. I thought they had a couple of close calls that went against them in the scrum. They could quite easily have ended up winning that game.

"Similarly out in Ireland, they matched Ireland up-front. It's going to be a huge physical encounter up front, and we have got to make sure we are at our best once again. We can't rest on our laurels."