Rugby World Cup: Wales in confident mood for France quarter-final, says Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland says Wales are in”optimistic” disposition ahead of their quarter-final evaluation with France, having beaten Les Blues in seven from the last eight meetings.
The last time the two countries met in 2011, Wales endured a narrow defeat in the point in New Zealand against France.
Gatland, that will abandon his role believes his squad are going into Sunday’s clash at the Showa Denko Dome, following four wins from four games that saw them finish top of Pool D.
“We have trained well and ready exceptionally well and enter this match with a lot of assurance,” Gatland said.
“As players and coaches this is exactly what you do all the hard work and training for. It is all for moments and to try and get to finals.
“As a coaching team we have had a lot of success in big games when it has truly relied and mattered, whether that has been in Grand Slam games, European Parliament or Premiership finals with Wasps, or even on Lions tours also.
“I think we have got a very good formula for a team about getting things right. It’s not only about the prep that is physical, it’s about being emotionally right and people top two inches everyone talks about.
“If you get that right in large games it can frequently make a significant difference. I keep saying we’re in a place that is good, we’ve prepared and the preparation is finished.
“At another 24 hours, we’ll start building well, but we can not play the match before we are prepared, and that’s crucial.
“It’s all done from the training perspective today. It’s down to the players at the next 24 to 48 hours to actually take control and possession, and they’ve been doing that already this week.”
Wales have won 19 out of their 22 Tests, which contained a list unbeaten run, along with their 100 per cent Pool D album was their group stage performance at a World Cup since 1987.
Gatland also thinks his side may use their current successes from Jacques Brunel’s team, including a 19-24 win off at the Stade de France through the 2019 Six Nations, as inspiration going into their clash in Oita.
“We keep working hard, and roughly four of the previous seven tries (Wales scored) against France are situations where we kept working hard to pursue, and one of the players has made a mistake and we have capitalised,” he further added.
“Defensively, (Wales defence trainer ) Shaun (Edwards) has been a little bit more on edge weekly. He is quite pumped up from a viewpoint.
“We have been working hard . He wasn’t too pleased with a try against Uruguay, and that he also let the players know clearly from the changing room after.”