Rugby World Cup 2019: Biggar confident he's 100 per cent fit to play, says Gatland

By Sports Desk October 18, 2019

Dan Biggar is confident he is 100 per cent ready to return to action in Wales' Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with France, according to Warren Gatland.

Biggar missed Wales' final Pool D match against Uruguay with concussion after suffering head knocks in consecutive matches against Australia and Fiji.

However, the Northampton Saints fly-half has been passed fit to start against France in Oita on Sunday.

It is a decision Gatland insisted has not taken lightly, but the Wales coach affirmed Biggar has no doubts over his fitness.

"We went through, made sure in terms of consulting the right people and making sure that they were aware of everything, getting him scanned, the independent consultant - that was important," said Gatland in a news conference.

"Dan's been fit for three or four days in terms of having passed those [concussion protocols], so we are taking all the proper precautions.

"But he's very confident that he's 100 per cent."

Gatland did, however, concede extra caution will have to be taken with Biggar should he sustain another head injury.

"He's desperate to play," Gatland added.

"We've just got to make sure if it does happen, if he gets a knock in the next few games, the next couple of months, obviously there would probably be a different course of action."

Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones has also been selected and will join Brian O'Driscoll in third on the all-time list for international Test appearances with his 141st cap.

"It's one chance to stay or you know where you are going," he said of Wales' ambitions for Sunday's clash.

"It's funny because the planning for this has probably been in Warren's head for the last 10 years rather than the last four years, two years, or 18 months.

"He is constantly building and what we have achieved or have not comes down to this moment."

Related items

  • Rugby Australia confident of reaching agreement to avoid All Blacks boycott Rugby Australia confident of reaching agreement to avoid All Blacks boycott

    Rugby Australia has vowed to do "everything in its power" to find a "reasonable resolution" after New Zealand Rugby (NZR) refused to rule out boycotting the Rugby Championship.

    NZR on Thursday stated it had not agreed to a schedule that is due to see the All Blacks play their last match of a six-week tournament on December 12, which would leave the players in quarantine for Christmas.

    Mark Robinson, the NZR chief executive, said the fixture list broke a commitment from Rugby Australia and governing body SANZAAR for the All Blacks to play their final game of the competition on December 5 - enabling them to spend the festive period with their families.

    Rugby Australia interim chief executive Rob Clarke says there is ample time to reach an agreement over the scheduling and is confident the four-team competition will be a success.

    Clarke said: "For absolute clarity - on two formal occasions - Rugby Australia was supportive of altering the draw so that the Rugby Championship could be played over five weeks.

    "On both occasions, that proposal was rejected which means there was never an agreement to finish the tournament on Saturday 5 December 2020.

    "That being said, no one wants players and team management to be away from their families and in quarantine over Christmas."

    Clarke added: "Rugby Australia will do everything in its power to help assist New Zealand Rugby and the team in finding a reasonable resolution, and in urging them to exhaust every possible alternative.

    "There are still more than two months to go before December 12 so we have plenty of time to find a solution.

    "We will continue to work with New Zealand Rugby and support them however we can, just like we are doing with the Springboks and Argentina in assisting with their travel plans, as well as making their stay in Australia as safe and as comfortable as possible during the tournament.

    "There have been a number of sacrifices made by each of the SANZAAR joint venture partners to get this far and I want to thank all of them for their flexibility and adaptability.

    "There is obviously a lot to achieve in the coming months but I'm confident that under the leadership of each of the joint venture partners, that the 2020 Rugby Championship in Australia will be a great success."

  • Hooper reappointed as Rennie's Wallabies captain Hooper reappointed as Rennie's Wallabies captain

    Australia's new era will begin with the same captain as Michael Hooper was reappointed by Dave Rennie on Wednesday.

    Head coach Rennie, who replaced Michael Cheika after last year's Rugby World Cup but began work in June, named a youthful first squad earlier this month - including 16 uncapped players, eight of whom debuted in Super Rugby this season.

    However, there was still room for six-year Wallabies skipper Hooper, although no captain was initially indicated in the selection.

    Rennie had previously said no decision had yet been made on the identity of his on-field leader, but he announced a "straightforward decision" on Wednesday.

    "I've been really impressed with Hoops," Rennie said. "We've spoken a lot over the past nine months and it's highlighted his passion and commitment.

    "He's a good man with an outstanding work ethic and he's a great role model for our young men coming through.

    "He's keen to lead and is highly respected by the Wallaby family. In the end, his appointment was a straightforward decision."

    Hooper added: "It's an absolute honour to be the Wallabies captain and I want to thank Dave and the Wallabies management team, as well as Rugby Australia, for their support and endorsement. 

    "It's a privilege to wear the Wallabies jersey, I feel proud to lead my team-mates and to represent those players that have before and all Australians.

    "I'm really excited about this group and the direction we are heading. We have already spent some quality time together, defining who we are and what we stand for and what we plan to achieve in the coming months."

  • Former Wales assistant Howley returns to rugby with Canada coaching role Former Wales assistant Howley returns to rugby with Canada coaching role

    Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been appointed by Canada in the same role after serving a ban for breaching World Rugby's anti-corruption and betting regulations.

    Howley was given an 18-month ban in December, nine months of which are suspended for two years, after it was discovered he made 363 rugby bets over a four-year spell - including on Wales games during his time with the team.

    Those misdemeanours ended Howley's 11-year spell as Warren Gatland's assistant, with the 49-year-old sent home from last year's Rugby World Cup before the tournament started.

    The suspension - announced in December - was backdated to September 2019, meaning he could return to the sport from June this year.

    And Howley has now accepted a job with Rugby Canada that will also see him work as a consultant with the Toronto Arrows for the 2021 Major League Rugby season.

    "I'm excited to get to work and help prepare Canada for Rugby World Cup qualification," Howley said in a statement.

    "I am also looking forward to my first season in MLR with the Toronto Arrows.

    "There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage the synergy of a professional club loaded with domestic players in an emerging league to help support the national team - it is very similar to my past experience coaching in Wales."

    Howley was tipped to take over as head coach of Italy before the betting breach was revealed and has more recently been linked with the top job at Wasps.

    Canada head coach Kingsley Jones said: "Rob is one of the most highly regarded coaches in international rugby and I'm ecstatic that he will be joining us at Rugby Canada.

    "He's someone that I've known and respected for a long time, and the opportunity to have Rob join our program is a huge step forward for Canadian rugby. His experience and expertise will benefit not only our young players but our entire coaching staff."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.