Six Nations 2015: Wales favourites to beat France - Abdelatif Benazzi

Abdelatif Benazzi on the attack for France against Wales in Paris in 1993
Abdelatif Benazzi on the attack for France against Wales in Paris in 1993
Six Nations 2015: France v Wales
Venue: Stade de France Date: 28 February, 2015 Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, HD, Red Button, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Former France captain Abdelatif Benazzi says Wales are favourites for Saturday's Six Nations clash in Paris.

Both sides must win in the French capital to keep their title hopes alive.

Wales bounced back from the loss against England with a win in Scotland, while France lost away to Ireland.

Benazzi, who won 78 caps for France between 1990 and 2001, told the BBC Radio Wales Sport programme: "I'm really worried about the weekend."

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Coach Warren Gatland explains his selection for France and says Roger Lewis' departure will "probably" affect his future.

"We've lost our identity, that's the problem and we need to see the French team play with pace like the Welsh.

"After the big game against England, Wales have got some confidence back quickly and they arrive in Paris as favourites."

France have made five changes from their defeat to Ireland in their previous outing, with the powerful centre Mathieu Bastareaud a notable omission from the starting line-up, with Remy Lamerat preferred.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre has also opted for Brice Dulin over Scott Spedding at full-back.

The three further changes have been enforced, with Romain Taofifenua in for banned lock Pascal Pape, Sofiane Guitone on the wing and Morgan Parra replacing injured scrum-half Rory Kockott.

Hopes of victory for the French rest on how well their forwards do and what kind of platform they can give Parra according to Benazzi.

Wales in the 2015 Six Nations
Friday, 6 February: Wales 16-21 England
Sunday, 15 February: Scotland 23-26 Wales
Saturday, 28 February: v France, Paris
Saturday, 14 March: v Ireland, Cardiff
Saturday, 21 March: v Italy, Rome

"The French team they want to build their victory, if they want to win this weekend, in the forwards, in the scrum, winning the ball and line-out," said the former Agen and Saracens number eight.

"Then Parra will be very confident behind."

Wales, who have made four changes from their win over Scotland, are aiming to secure a fourth successive win against France for the first time since the 1950s.

Benazzi thinks the forward battle will also determine how much of an influence Welsh number eight Taulupe Faletau has on the match.

He said: "Faletau is very strong. He's a good technical player, but if the forwards have a problem maybe we won't see lots of him.

"That's key to the game [for France] not to give confidence to the Welsh forwards."

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