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'It was what we expected from France': Wales trying to build from losses says Taulupe Faletau

By PA
(Photo by Adrian Dennis /AFP via Getty Images)

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Taulupe Faletau will continue to put an emphasis on enjoying his rugby after making an outstanding return to the international arena.

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The Wales number eight continued from where he left off against England at Twickenham by delivering another barnstorming display as France were pushed to the limit in Cardiff.

It was only Faletau’s fourth game of the season after spending seven months on the sidelines due to an ankle injury, but he was the game’s top carrier with 13, and also made more metres – 101 – than any other player.

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With fellow seasoned campaigner Josh Navidi also back from injury and performing magnificently alongside him in the back-row, they proved influential figures behind Wales giving Guinness Six Nations leaders France a major scare before being edged out 13-9.

“I am trying to enjoy every opportunity I am given to play,” Faletau said.

“From being out for so long and watching from the touchline, it just makes you appreciate every chance you get.

“I think the boys are disappointed. We put ourselves in a decent position to win the last couple of games and came out on the wrong end both times.

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“It was what we expected from France. They are niggly, especially in the contact area, and they got some key turnovers in key positions.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity, but we didn’t quite cross over the line.”

Italy are next up for Wales on the final day of Six Nations action next weekend, while a three-Test tour to South Africa in July will enable head coach Wayne Pivac to keep developing squad strength in depth ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Faletau added: “It’s building on what we did against France and last week against England.

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“We will take confidence from playing against a team like France and having opportunities to win the game, and work on putting away the chances.

“It’s always a good thing to have, competition throughout the squad. The more people are challenging each other, the better.

“We will just drive each other forward to get the best out of each other.

“We put ourselves in a decent position to come away with a win. We didn’t do that, but we will take confidence from what we were able to create, the chances and pressure we were able to apply.”

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