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Nice sunshine boosts Wales morale for France clash

17 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Italy’s Pierre Bruno (left) tackles Wales’ Rio Dyer, David Davies PA Images

Rio Dyer believes that a week in the sun has helped boost Wales’ morale ahead of their Six Nations finale against France.

Wales flew to Nice following victory over Italy in Rome last weekend, where they fine-tuned their preparations to face Les Bleus on Saturday.

A difficult Six Nations campaign – three defeats and one win – also saw the threat of a players’ strike as off-field issues dominated.

Although a strike was averted ahead of Wales’ appointment with England, the whole saga still left its mark.

“There has been a lot of pressure back in Wales, and for the whole of Welsh rugby it has been a difficult challenge,” Wales wing Dyer said.

“But we have been out in a different place in the sun, not the snow and rain, and that has brought the morale of the boys up a bit.

“It is a big part of what we are trying to do and what we took to Rome especially, trying to enjoy the rugby in the little moments.

“I play rugby to enjoy it, that’s the main thing. Going out there and leaving all the negativity aside.

“There is rugby negativity everywhere, so try and shut that off as much as you can and just try to focus on what you are here to do and enjoy it as much as you can.”

Dyer is still in the early stages of his Test career, but tries against New Zealand, Australia and Italy have given him a strong 50 per cent strike-rate.


The 23-year-old is among several newcomers to impress during the last year or so, and a strong performance in Paris would undoubtedly strengthen his World Cup selection claims.

“Some of the players you are coming up against have got 50-plus caps,” Dyer added.

“You realise the difference between that and someone who is obviously just starting, and that you can be exposed.

“You can’t really switch off at all, and if you give that 10 per cent less you are going to be punished for it. That is the main thing I’ve taken from it.

“Mistakes are going to be made, but it is about what you do after those mistakes are made.

“I am here to try and push my game as far as I can go, and if the mistakes happen then it is my responsibility to put it right.

“Counter-attacking rugby probably favours what I like to do. Going forward into the World Cup, if we can get that nailed on then I think we can cause real damage.”

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