France rugby union head coach Fabien Galthié on Thursday confirmed Matthieu Jalibert as the main playmaker for the side’s clash against Wales at the Stade de France on Saturday night.
Fly-half Jalibert scored 10 points from two conversions and two penalties during last Saturday’s 23-20 defeat at Twickenham against England.
The setback ended France’s hopes of a first “Grand Slam” since 2010 and raised questions over whether Galthié would recall Romain Ntamack – one of the stars of the 2020 Six Nations tournament – who has recovered from injury.
Despite losing the chance to register a clean sweep of five victories, France can still claim the Six Nations crown for the first time since those heights of 2010 if they beat Wales and Scotland next week.
“Jalibert played a solid game against England,” said Galthié. “He was effective in his role as a scorer, which is very important.”
As well as dictating the tempo of the game, Jalibert also delivered the pass to set up a try for Damien Penaud to give France a 15-13 lead late in the first-half.
“He was also very good in the offensive game and in the management of the game,” added Galthié. “He was solid in a game against a consistent opponent. “
The Wales coach, Wayne Pivac, recalled the forward Adam Beard for the game which could give the side their second Grand Slam in three years.
Beard was rested for last weekend’s 48-7 win over Italy after starting the victories over Ireland, Scotland and England.
“We are all looking forward to Saturday and to the finale of the Six Nations,” said Pivac. “We are four from four but know this will be a great challenge against a very good French side.
In the weekend’s other games, Scotland host Italy and Ireland entertain England.
Source: Modern Ghana