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Rees: Wales will bounce back

Matthew Rees has no doubt the Wales squad will "stay tight" in their quest to avoid their Six Nations campaign unravelling with indecent haste.

Wales, on the back of a 30-22 home defeat by Ireland, next tackle pre-tournament favourites France in Paris, where the current Six Nations champions have won just three times since 1975.

Defeat at Stade de France would leave Wales not only out of the title running, but heading towards possible wooden spoon territory with Italy and Scotland - both away - and England awaiting them.

Given that Wales were World Cup semi-finalists less than 16 months ago and are the Six Nations title holders, their current malaise of eight successive defeats offers a painful, stark comparison with those highs.

"As players, we are the ones who have got to react. We've been there before and done it (won in Paris)," Wales hooker and former captain Rees said.

"Confidence has been hit by this (Ireland) result, but when we look back at the video, and especially the second-half with the chances we created, as long as we can create those opportunities and finish them there is no reason why we can't go out to France and get a result.

"We proved how good a team we can be, and we have got to stay tight. I am sure this team will.

"We didn't take all our opportunities. We scored a few tries in the second half, but it wasn't enough.

"A slow start cost us, those first 20 minutes, but the pleasing thing was we came back in the second half and gave ourselves a good shot of getting a result, but in international rugby you can't afford to give 20 points away and expect to win.

"We have go to take this on the chin and make sure we get ready for France. We've got a tough schedule ahead of us in terms of three games on the road."

Wales were punished for a dreadful start after they fell, rather than blasted, out of the Six Nations starting blocks.

In two of their last three home games - against New Zealand and Ireland - they trailed 33-0 and 30-3 adrift before stirring themselves into action.

"We were our own worst enemies," Rees added. "We know how good a team Ireland can be, and after they scored a couple of early tries it was always going to be tough to come back from.

"We created a lot of opportunities in the second half, but didn't quite finish them. The most important thing is we don't dwell on this too much and look forward to France."

Wing Alex Cuthbert, one of Wales' try-scorers, underlined the work ethic and determination that will be required this week to address and repair Saturday's first-half no-show.

"I messed up on a couple of opportunities," he said. "I will be very hard on myself, and I know the coaches will be as well.

"We set high targets to aim for, and I guess I was a bit below par in this game. I've got things to work on this week.

"That first 20 minutes we weren't at the races, and they took full advantage of that. We left ourselves with too much to do.

"We had been working all week and saying the first 20 minutes is key, but it just didn't happen for us and it took us 20 minutes too long to get going."

Wales also saw another addition to their lengthy injury list when flanker Aaron Shingler suffered a rib injury, but Ospreys forwards Ryan Jones (thumb) and Richard Hibbard (shoulder) could be available for France after missing the Ireland game.