Six Nations

Wales opt for Anscombe over Biggar for England

2019-02-21 14:43
Gareth Anscombe makes a tackle (Getty Images)

London - Gareth Anscombe has beaten Dan Biggar in the race to be Wales' starting flyhalf in their crunch Six Nations clash against England in Cardiff this weekend after coach Warren Gatland named him in the No 10 shirt on Thursday.

Anscombe, now set to be Wales' goalkicker, has been chosen ahead of the more experienced Biggar in one of two changes from the starting side that came from 16-0 behind at half-time to beat France 24-19 in Paris on February 1. 

Biggar went off with his knee heavily strapped during Northampton's victory over Sale in the English Premiership last weekend but has taken part in Wales' training sessions this week.

Dragons lock Cory Hill has replaces Adam Beard as captain Alun Wyn Jones' second-row partner, while scrumhalf Gareth Davies takes over from Tomos Williams, who was not considered due to injury.

Davies is Wales' third starting scrumhalf of the Championship

Tomas Francis starts at tighthead in place of the injured Samson Lee and will be up against his Exeter team-mate Ben Moon.

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny, a world-class goalkicker, has been ruled out once again, having not played since suffering concussion when Wales beat Australia in November.

Only four players remain in the starting XV from the much-changed team that defeated strugglers Italy last time out - back-rower Josh Navidi, fullback Liam Williams, wing Josh Adams, and centre Jonathan Davies.

Wales are on an 11-match unbeaten run, with just one more win required to break their all-time record set from 1907-1910.

They were last crowned Six Nations champions in 2013, when they thrashed England 30-3 on the final day of the tournament that season.

England, however, are bidding for a third Six Nations title under coach Eddie Jones, who has won all four of his matches against Wales since taking charge after the 2015 World Cup

But an upbeat Gatland said: "We are really happy with the experience we have got in the side.

"We have been on the road for the first two weeks, and we are looking forward to being back at home and to build on those first two wins and to build on our performance."

This is the New Zealander's final Six Nations in charge of Wales before he stands down after this year's World Cup in Japan.

England and Wales are the only two unbeaten teams left in this season's Six Nations and Gatland said: "We know how important this game is for the rest of the championship.

"It's a massive challenge playing against an England team that is playing really well and with a lot of confidence, and we've got to make it difficult for them on Saturday."

Kick-off is at 18:45 (SA time).



15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Owen Watkin


15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ben Moon

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Joe Cokanasiga

Read more on:    england  |  wales  |  six nations  |  gareth anscombe  |  dan biggar  |  rugby


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