Six Nations

Wales upbeat over Biggar's chances of facing England

2019-02-18 21:28
Dan Biggar
Dan Biggar (Getty)

London - Wales are increasingly confident about the fitness of flyhalf Dan Biggar heading into a potential Six Nations title-decider against England in Cardiff on Saturday.

Biggar, with his knee heavily strapped, limped off just 20 minutes into Northampton's 67-17 thrashing of Sale in the English Premiership last weekend.

However Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd insisted Biggar's exit was purely "precautionary". 

Biggar trained with Wales on Monday and is set to do so again on Tuesday.

"This morning, (Biggar) has come in, he will have some physio and he will be able to take part in training, which is a huge positive for us," Wales assistant coach Rob Howley told WRU TV.

Both Wales and England head into their Principality Stadium clash having each won their opening two matches in this season's Six Nations.

Wales are already set to be without one ace goalkicker due the ongoing absence of full-back Leigh Halfpenny, and will be  desperate not to lose another in Biggar, who has been vying for the Test No 10 shirt with Gareth Anscombe.

Halfpenny was released to play for the Scarlets last weekend, but was then omitted from the matchday squad that played Benetton in Italy.

"He trained with us last week and we will integrate again this week," Howley added. "Any news on selection will be taken at the end of the week."

Thursday is set to see both Wales and England name their teams.

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

England meanwhile are bidding for a third Six Nations title under Eddie Jones, who has won all four of his matches against Wales since taking over as Red Rose boss after the 2015 World Cup.

Saturday will see Wales playing at home for the first time this Six Nations and Howley said: "We have to give something to the crowd, we understand that, but I always think playing at home in the best stadium in the world gives you a five-point start."

The former Wales scrum-half added: "It is important that we play the game on our terms, and also we are aware of what the landscape might be on Saturday with the amount of kicks.

"Obviously, when you analyse England in the first two games (against Ireland and France), they kicked a hell of a lot, and I think it will be no different this weekend."

This is Warren Gatland's last Six Nations as Wales coach before he steps down after the World Cup in Japan later in the year. 

England defence specialist John Mitchell, a former head coach of the All Blacks, was in no doubt of the advances Wales had made under his fellow New Zealander.

"Wales are pretty good and have been improving progressively over a long period of time under Warren," he said.

"They enjoy moving the ball and have a lot of variety in their game as well, so that makes them a different threat."

Read more on:    wales  |  six nations  |  dan biggar  |  rugby

 

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