Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde insists his recovering squad will be ready for the bruising challenge of France on Friday night as the Six Nations begins.
McBryde has given a positive injury update and believes Warren Gatland’s side will be fully prepared for a humdinger of a tournament opener in Paris.
Wales have been boosted by the news that Gareth Davies, Ross Moriarty and Liam Williams are all available for selection.
The visitors have won six of their last seven meetings with Les Bleus and McBryde is relishing the chance to once again take on one of European rugby’s real powerhouses.
“Our injury list is not as lengthy as it was last week. When we selected a larger than normal squad it was to cover for that,” said the former Wales hooker.
“Scott Williams, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Patchell are the ones that have been ruled out. We know it is a big ask first up with France away. They are a big, physical pack.
“For us it’s about trying to get as much done in a short space of time and getting the balance right in terms of making sure we do enough work under intensity without taking too much out of the legs.
“The last two encounters with France have been pretty close. Our focus is on making sure we start with a big performance.
“It’s always a close battle and recently we have managed to get on top. It is a different French team – as it is every year – but they should have beaten South Africa in the autumn.
“They are big, physical men and they are going to be hugely passionate. They are playing their first game at home and we’ve got to be ready for that.”
McBryde has been left delighted by the return of Dragons No 8 Moriarty. The forward hasn’t played since December 15 due to concussion.
Scrum-half Davies and full-back or winger Williams have recovered from quad and finger issues respectively.
“It has been good to welcome quite a few faces back,” McBryde said.
“Ross doesn’t need a lot of game time to get going – he always keeps himself in great shape.
“With the protocol after a head injury, it’s a steady, gradual thing and, once you’ve been passed fit, you can crank things up. It was the same with Adam Beard.
“They’ve both come through so it’s healthy to see them back. Ross definitely won’t take a backward step. You want people like that in your team.”