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Navidi ready for Le Crunch in France

1st February 2019

Josh Navidi is ready to fight fire with fire as Wales kick-off their Guinness Six Nations with a colossal clash in France.

The Cardiff Blues flanker starts in the number six jersey at Stade de France with Les Bleus selecting a gargantuan 150 stone pack.

But Navidi is relishing the challenge ahead and will challenge “a bit of the old school”.

He said: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall. It is the same when we play regional rugby – we know they are going to be big and physical and the back-line will have a lot of flair.

“You just know what is coming – a lot of drives and stuff. We know how big they are and we have to try and match them physically.

“I played (for Cardiff Blues) against Montpellier, probably four years ago. They had one of the biggest packs I have played against. You have to try and match them, getting off the line and getting in their faces.

“You cannot let them come to you and give them a rolling start. We know we need to move their pack around the field, and I hope we can do that by moving the ball and tiring them out.”

Navidi has had plenty of experience against French packs in recent seasons, with Cardiff Blues boasting five consecutive victories over Top 14 opposition.

And like when in regional colours, the dreadlocked flanker will partner another jackal master as Wales target the breakdown.

He continued: “We have had a good run against French teams. A few of us are playing on the weekend and if we can bring that moving the ball around and flair, I hope we tire out a big pack and get the result.

“Playing with Tips (Justin Tipuric) is the same as when I have played with Ellis and Sam. The more jackallers you have on the park the more turnovers you hope to get, putting pressure at every ruck. 

“It puts pressure on them to commit numbers to rucks and it is about keeping that constant pressure and getting more turnovers to play off.”

While Navidi has now established himself in the Wales squad and will be making his fifth appearance in the Six Nations, his regional teammate Tomos Williams is set for his Championship debut.

He added: “Tomos is a live wire, a threat off the base as well and I hope he will do a good job. He’s got flair and it's quite aggressive for a scrum-half - it is good when your 9 is a bit fiery. It is good for defenders because he can tie in extra defenders.” 

Watch France v Wales in the Guinness Six Nations live at Cardiff Arms Park. The clubhouse will be open and showing every game in the Championship so join us in the heart of the Welsh capital!