One of the more intriguing match-ups in Saturday's World Cup semifinal between France and Wales will be on the wing, where Frenchman Vincent Clerc will come up against two worthy adversaries.
Clerc, 30, has had a new lease on life at the World Cup, the Toulouse stalwart currently heads the top try-scorer list at this tournament with six (along with Chris Ashton of an England side beaten 19-12 by France in the quarterfinals).
His opponents on Saturday represent the new face of a rejuvenated Wales team: marauding, teen monster George North; and the silky, side-stepping genius of the diminutive 34-year-old Shane Williams.
The Welsh wings have shown that they can play on either side of the park, with Williams playing on the right wing against Ireland despite wearing the No.11 jersey, so Clerc could be faced with either of the two on Saturday.
The two wings pose completely different challenges with the size and power of North contrasting with the smaller Williams who has plenty of explosive pace off the mark and a low centre of gravity.
"This Welsh team has very powerful players," acknowledged Clerc, who has an impressive return of 31 tries from 55 Tests.
"They are very mobile on the field and the three-quarters manages to put more speed on the outside and they manage to move forward and keep possession of the ball as long as possible.
"Even when there is a counter-attack, they manage to turn it over to their advantage. When they are in difficulty, they manage to find a space to find a way out and that is their strong point. It allows them to have a variety of game tactics," he explained.
Shane Williams, who has helped himself to two tries in New Zealand, including the crucial pool match winner against Samoa, was in no doubt about the capability of the France team, calling Clerc "deadly".
"You certainly know that up front they lead by example with a strong set-piece and a strong scrum. Behind the pack they certainly have some talent as well," the Ospreys wing said.
"The likes of (Morgan) Parra and (Dimitri) Yachvili are playing very well at the moment. It was a very mature performance from the halfbacks at the weekend in their quarterfinal win over England.
"Clerc has scored a lot of tries in this tournament and is a deadly finisher," added Williams, who with a Welsh record of 56 tries in 84 Tests is well-placed to comment.
"They are a side to be taken seriously as they save their best rugby for the knock-out stages. They had a good performance against England and the best team won on the day. It is exciting."
Williams praised Clerc's workrate over the full 80 minutes.
"I have been impressed with him from the start," he said. "He is a hard worker and he scores a lot of his tries late on in games.
"That shows he works hard throughout and he is a player who goes looking for work. He comes off shoulders and is never far from the ball and that is why he scores so many tries.
"He took his try very well against England, but then again he's had a good tournament. He comes off his wing and goes looking for work. He's the sort of player I enjoy watching, if not playing against too much," said Williams.
The other France wing will be Alexis Palisson, who predicted a difficult evening against a settled side.
"Let's say they seem to be very confident," he said of the Wales team. "It's a team that didn't have too many changes since day one of the competition.
"They have a core starting XV and have been able to display great performances so it is going to be a tough game."
The only injury concern in the French camp surrounds scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili who says he is recovering well from a thigh injury and is "confident" of playing in Saturday's semifinal.
Yachvili was instrumental in the quarterfinal win against England, landing two early penalties to settle nerves and orchestrating the backline moves that pegged back England as France opened up a 16-0 first-half lead.
Yachvili limped off early in the second half against England with deep bruising to his left thigh, and was replaced by flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc, with makeshift No.10 Morgan Parra switching back to scrumhalf.
After sitting out training for the last three days, Yachvili says he "started running again" on Wednesday and says "everything's coming along well."
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