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Johnes relishing home advantage ahead of France clash

Johnes relishing home advantage ahead of France clash

Wales Women will look to a roaring home crowd to give them an edge against France, according to flanker Manon Johnes.

Wales host France at Cardiff Arms Park next up in the Women’s Six Nations on Sunday 23rd February following narrow defeats to Italy and Ireland in the opening two Rounds.

Johnes is looking to build on a positive performance against Ireland and hopes that returning home will give them the edge they need against six-time champions France.

She said: “Playing them at home will give us a small advantage compared to playing away.

“We played in France last year and they always have great support so we’re hoping we can have something similar.

“France are a class team, with great players all round, so we’re going to have to be physical, keep building and retain possession for longer.”

Coach Gareth Wyatt also hailed Wales’ supporters in an attempt to galvanise them ahead of the round three match.

He said: “There was a fantastic crowd at Arms Park against Italy, and the girls love playing there.

“They really appreciate the support they get, and they’ll be as desperate as we are to put in a performance for the supporters.

“I’m sure we’ll see that on the day because we can see how hard everyone is working. We just need to put little things right ahead of the match.”

France lost 19-13 to England in Round 1 but responded with a solid 45-10 win against Italy.

Wales lost 19-15 to Italy, and then fell to a 31-12 defeat to Ireland in trying conditions at Energia Park.

And though Cardiff Blues backrow Johnes found the result frustrating and disappointing, she said she was pleased with elements of the performance, as her side scored two tries through Lauren Smyth and captain Siwan Lillicrap.

She added: “We proved a point in Ireland in terms of what we can do at times, we just need to sustain it for longer. We need to show we can be class against world class teams for 80 minutes, not just for 15.

“But the Ireland game showed us how far we’ve come mentally and psychologically, as we dealt with problems during the game and kept our heads and dealt with what was in front of us.

“We need to be more clinical because we spent a lot of time in Ireland’s 22 but didn’t come away with tries.

“There are some good glimpses there but then a couple of Ireland’s tries came from missed tackles, really easy fixes. But in the Women’s Six Nations you can’t rely on easy fixes because once you’ve made the mistake you’ve lost the match.”

Tickets for Wales Women’s remaining home matches – against France and against Scotland on Sunday 15 March are available from //wru.wales/waleswomen