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France draw gives Wales’ Grand Slam hopes huge boost

| 05.03.2012

Wales may not have played at the weekend but the 17-17 draw between France and Ireland in Paris has seen them cut to 1/3 to win the Six Nations.

They now hold a one-point lead over the French who fought back from an 11-point deficit at half-time to pick up an ultimately disappointing draw against Declan Kidney’s men.

It was the first real test for the French since their narrow World Cup final defeat against New Zealand and it’s one they failed to pass.

Ireland had won just once in Paris since since 1972 and only twice since 1952 but the home side were poor in the first 40 minutes and failed to breakdown a resilient Irish side.

They were far better in the second-half but the ease with which Ireland were able to contain them in the first will give encouragement to Wales ahead of what promises to be a championship decider in Cardiff on March 17.

Wales have what should be the straightforward task of playing Italy at the Millennium Stadium before then though (the Welsh are 1/33 to win), while France are 2/7 favourites to see off England in Paris this weekend.

It’s all set for a brilliant final game between Wales and France who will be meeting for the first time since the French defeated Warren Gatland’s men in the semi-final of the World Cup back in October.

Wales will undoubtedly be favourites for that clash though – especially if they can keep 15 men on the pitch this time – and they are currently odds-on at 4/9 to win the Grand Slam.

While France can no longer win the slam following their Ireland draw, they can stop the Welsh and it’s 7/4 that no team wins the Grand Slam.



Richard Anderson