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Wales kicking guru Jenkins wary of French threat

WALES kicking coach Neil Jenkins has described the French as a “major threat” ahead of their Six Nations clash a week on Friday.

France, under the guidance of former Toulouse boss Guy Noves, head to Cardiff still on course for a Grand Slam.

And former world record points scorer Jenkins is wary of Noves’ impact on the French squad.

Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins

Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins

He said: “They look like they are trying to play a lot more rugby in comparison to what they have been in recent times.

“They certainly look to play a wide and expansive game, and certainly from turnovers they are looking to shift and play and keep a lot more ball in hand, and a lot of offloading as well.

“I’m sure they are still trying to find their identity, and trying to find their feet in terms of the coaching staff, but I’m enjoying the way they are trying to play the game.

“I’m sure they will say themselves that they have got some areas to work on, but certainly they are going to be a major threat to us a week Friday.”

Jenkins revealed 13 players have been released for regional duty this weekend, with Blues winger Tom James the only member of the starting 15 released.

James being made available for regional duty this weekend has inevitably sparked debate as to whether his starting place is in jeopardy.

But the former Pontypridd and Cardiff fly-half was quick to stress the intense level of competition to partner George North on the wing.

“I think with the back three that we’ve got, with Hallam (Amos) as well, Tom, Cuthy (Cuthbert), George and Liam can play wing if need be.

“So I would have said there’s a big battle on there and there has been from day one really.

“So it will be interesting to see what happens over the coming weeks.”

Jenkins was also cautious about the return of star scrum-half Rhys Webb.

“I think with Webby (Rhys Webb) it’s just a matter of getting him back on the pitch, getting more game-time under his belt, and again just seeing where that takes us and where it takes Rhys.

“We will just wait and see and when he’s back up and running then I’m sure he will be there or thereabouts when he’s back to full fitness.”

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