All the action as Wales take on France in the Six Nations.
Never mind Le Crunch, this is Le Niggle. It is hard to remember a build-up to a Six Nations encounter in Cardiff that has been so vitriolic, if not downright nasty. Certainly without Eddie Jones involved.
Inevitably, on the eve of the match at the Principality Stadium, the opposing set-ups tried to row back on the rancour, although as ever in these wars of words a few subtle potshots told the back story.
Alun Wyn Jones, the Welsh captain who only ever seems to be described as "totemic", shrugged his shoulders and gave a reminder that he was not party to any of the fun and shames in which first Wyn Jones, the prop, accused the French scrum of being "cheats" and then France coach Fabien Galthie, sounding almost like the don of Six Nations, berated the opposition for their "disrespect".
However, Wales' captain could not resist a dig at Raphael Ibanez after the French team manager went well below the belt in questioning whether Dan Biggar should have been selected after suffering three concussions in six months.
"I'm not a doctor," Jones said. "But it's interesting he [Ibanez] says that because Prav [Mathema, the Welsh medical manager] was with Raphael for two years at Wasps, so I'm sure they'll have a conversation regarding that after the game."
There has never been such a huge margin in experience before in the Six Nations. With 859 caps, Wales will set a new championship record, while France have 254 caps.
It is the old grey hairs versus the bum-fluff brigade and, as ridiculously talented as they are, it will take a remarkable uprising from les enfants to deal with the occasion, under the roof, with the Grand Slam being mentioned.
Wales know they can throw the championship open with their 13th successive home Six Nations victory. Wayne Pivac is counting on the trip to England two weeks later possessing the narrative of a squad on track to retain their title.
Yet while they have cunningly attempted to pile the pressure on their baby-faced rivals, there can be no doubt that the new reign is under increasing scrutiny as well.
"It is just a fact that they are much more experienced than us," Ibanez said. "We can't lie. The truth is we have very young players in the team, but we trust them. And we are very confident in their ability to cope with the atmosphere and this kind of game."
- Telegraph UK