Shaun Edwards was impressed with Wales' defence against France
Shaun Edwards has challenged Wales to repeat their excellent defensive performance against France when they take on Italy in the RBS 6 Nations on Saturday.
To win in Paris was something I'd never done before. It was awesome
The 6-16 win in Paris has breathed life into the Wales squad and after shutting out Philippe Saint-André's side, ex Wigan man Edwards wants more of the same.
France's only points in Paris came from two Frédéric Michalak penalties when Wales were penalised at the set piece. Otherwise, Wales' blitz defence worked wonders as Michalak failed to fire his back line.
"Not to concede a try against France for the third consecutive game and not to concede a point from defence - I'd love that form to continue," said Edwards.
"It was a tighter, more defence orientated game but I thought we excelled ourselves. To win in Paris was something I'd never done before. It was awesome.
"We like to think we improve as the campaign goes on, that's our aim. We were off the pace in the first 20 minutes against Ireland but we were brilliant in the second half and that form continued against France."
While Wales have been boosted by the return of Alun Wyn Jones and Sam Warburton's recovery from a shoulder problem, Saturday's opponents could well be without their inspirational captain Sergio Parisse.
The Stade Francais man was sent off on Saturday for allegedly insulting the referee in their Top 14 clash with Bordeaux and faces a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday. The Italian skipper denies the charge but could be banned for up to 80 days if found guilty.
But even if Italy are without their main man, Edwards says they will still provide a stiff test.
"He's a player who is rated highly throughout the world," the Wales defence coach said of Parisse.
"He's very creative from scrums but they'll have someone else in his place and we'll have to handle whoever is playing No. 8 for Italy whether it's Sergio Parisse or his replacement."
And with Wales in good health and sticking with the same side which won in France, Edwards says Rob Howley's team are gelling together nicely.
"We look very healthy, we've got a couple of experienced players coming back from injury," he added.
"Last week we had a number of players working together who are going to start the match so continuation of that form would be appreciated, particularly by me.
"It's our fifth week together and your understanding gets better as you go along, there's no doubt about that."
You can follow the entire match between Italy and Wales by logging on to www.wru.co.uk/live
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