Rugby-Pivac hails Wales improvement after narrow loss to France

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Frustrated Wales manager Wayne Pivac believes his side did enough to win in their narrow 13-9 Six Nations loss to France on Friday as he confirmed lock Alun Wyn Jones would be fit to face Italy in their final game next weekend. Wales dominated possession and territory against unbeaten France, but despite making a number of entries in their opponents’ 22, could not find a way to break through their defence.

But even though it was an improved performance from the home side, it was still a third defeat in four games for the defending champions. “(The game plan) almost worked,” Pivac told reporters. “It’s frustrating because the boys worked hard. We felt we did enough to win the game, but we didn’t. That being said, it’s a huge step in the right direction.”

France scored the only try early on through flanker Anthony Jelonch, while Wales’ best chance came when center Jonathan Davies juggled the ball with the French try line in sight, but didn’t couldn’t keep it under control. “It was a very tight test and it ended in a score. They had a chance and took it, and we couldn’t quite finish,” Pivac said.

“We worked hard and it wasn’t for lack of effort. It’s one of those frustrating ones. The boys did everything we wanted to do except win the game. But we had a game positive against the in-form team in the world. Overall, we put them under pressure. We’ve done a lot of good things with the ball, but it comes down to one or two things.”

Wales will close their Six Nations at home to Italy on March 19 and will have regular skipper Jones back in contention for selection. He was initially ruled out of all competition due to a recurrence of a shoulder problem, the same injury he suffered before the British and Irish Lions series against South Africa last year.

“He will be officially added to the squad this weekend,” Pivac confirmed. “He has worked very hard and trained with the team and helped them prepare for this week’s game. He is now available for selection.”

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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