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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The Wales teams return home for the Irish leg of their Six Nations campaigns in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to Wales attack coach Rob Howley and defence coach Shaun Edwards, as well as flanker Dan Lydiate and full back Leigh Halfpenny. We hear from Wales Women's back rower Sian Williams and Wales U20 forwards coach Chris Horsman and flanker Ollie Griffiths.
Wales look to build on victory in Paris in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton, as well as Wales Women's coach Rhys Edwards. We also hear from Wales U20 duo Dan Jones and Joe Davies, along with Wales U18s.
We look ahead to the French tests in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We look ahead to Wales France with Warren Gatland, Sam Warburton, Scott Baldwin, Rhys Webb and Jonathan Davies. Wales Women are the only team in red still unbeaten in this Six Nations, we speak to captain Rachel Taylor. Wales U20 are looking bounce back from defeat in Scotland, we hear from coach Jason Strange, captain Rory Thornton and front rower Dillon Lewis.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.