Six Nations 2017: Wales must back up Ireland win, says coach Robin McBryde

Rhys Webb celebrates Wales' win over Ireland
Wales' win over Ireland means they will be among the top eight seeds in the draw for the 2019 World Cup
Six Nations: France v Wales
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Saturday, 18 March Kick-off: 14:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales must back up their win over Ireland with another good performance against France, says forwards coach Robin McBryde.

The 22-9 win against Ireland followed defeats by England and Scotland.

"We can't rest on our laurels we've just got to go out there and step it up again," said McBryde.

"That's what good teams do. They back performances up with another good performance and we haven't seen that in this campaign."

And McBryde continued: "This is the last chance for us to be able to do that so hopefully we can match that Ireland performance . . . but that's the challenge for us and hopefully we can meet it head on on Saturday.

"We have to use some of that momentum that's gained from the last game and take it into the France game with us."

Wales were under pressure following their 29-13 loss against Scotland - their first against the Scots since 2007 - but produced their best display of the 2017 Six Nations to outscore Ireland three tries to nil.

A win against France could see Rob Howley's team finish as high as second in the final table, but they could fall to as low as fifth if they lose.

Wales have won their last five encounters with France, including two in Paris, but McBryde says past form counts for nothing.

"We've only found out recently with the loss to Scotland that those records don't stand for anything," he said.

"We are more than aware of what can happen if you read too much into it and listen to the record books.

"We know they are a very big, physical team, and if some of their off-loads stick early on, the crowd get behind them and they just grow an extra arm and a leg then. We are aware of that, so we've got to be at our best.

"They were very unlucky against England in that opening game and they could quite easily have ended up winning.

"It's going to be a huge physical encounter up front and if we have to make sure we're at our best again."

Ken Owens
Ken Owens has made the second most appearances for the Scarlets of any player to represent the region

Owens "up with the best"

McBryde, who played 37 times at hooker for Wales between 1994 and 2005, praised current number two Ken Owens who is being tipped as a serious candidate for the British and Irish Lions' summer tour to New Zealand.

"He's up there with the best ball carrying hookers in terms of his ability to spin in the tackle, his ball presentation, he's got great offloading skills," said McBryde.

"It suits the nature of the way game is going with regards to keeping hold of the ball and playing in the wider channels a bit more.

"Ken ticks all the boxes in regard to the modern day hooker if you like and all that work is on top of his work at the set piece - he's been part of a very solid scrum and a very solid lineout to date."

McBryde added that Owens' performances had benefitted from the way Wales' front five had "gelled together" during the tournament.

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