Biggar fit to face Argentina while duo not ruled out

7 months ago 101
Dan Biggar congratulates Liam Williams against GeorgiaDan Biggar congratulates Liam Williams against Georgia
Venue: Stade de Marseille, Marseille Date: Saturday 14 October Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Coverage: Live BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live Sport, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app.

Wales say fly-half Dan Biggar is fit and they have not yet ruled out Gareth Anscombe and Liam Williams for the World Cup quarter-final against Argentina on Saturday.

Wales have injury concerns over fly-halves Biggar and Anscombe and full-back Williams for the Marseille match.

Head of physical performance Huw Bennett stated on Monday everybody was fit for selection.

Assistant coach Jonathan Thomas confirmed that remained the situation.

Thomas confirmed Anscombe and Williams had been jogging in training and would continue to be assessed before the team is set to be announced for Thursday.

Doubts will persist over Anscombe's fitness after he suffered a groin injury while kicking in the warm-up before Wales' 43-19 victory against Georgia.

Anscombe was pulled out of the starting side and was replaced by Sam Costelow, with Biggar coming on to the bench where he was an unused replacement last weekend.

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Biggar had himself suffered a pectoral injury in the early stages of Wales' record 40-6 victory against Australia in Lyon.

Anscombe came on as a replacement for Biggar in that game and produced a 23-point player-of-the-match performance.

Full-back Williams suffered a knee injury in the Georgia game and left the ground in Nantes on crutches.

Williams has been in impressive form in France, starting three of the four pool victories as Wales topped the group.

His natural direct replacement would be Leigh Halfpenny, while wing Louis Rees-Zammit has slotted into the full-back role during games.

Liam Williams and Gareth Anscombe playing for Wales during the 2023 Rugby World CupLiam Williams and Gareth Anscombe are both moving to play club rugby in Japan after the World Cup

One in, one out for Wales

Head coach Warren Gatland has already called up scrum-half Kieran Hardy after losing Taulupe Faletau to a broken arm.

Wales lost Faletau during the Georgia win, with Gatland choosing to replace him in the squad with Hardy rather than a specialist back row.

Gatland believes he has enough options to cover the loss of Faletau, while Hardy will provide back-up to the two scrum-half specialists in the squad, Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies.

"Kieran [Hardy] was a big part of our group in the 54-man squad in the camps. We've been keeping tabs on players on the shortlist, making sure they're ready to go," said Bennett.

"Kieran's a great professional so on that basis we're happy to see him coming into the group, and he's got a great relationship with the players as well.

"It's been well-documented [that] losing Taulupe is massive for Wales.

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"He's a big character and leads by example. After the game we were happy for the victory but losing Taulupe put a sobering stamp on things.

"We've been lucky so far with injuries but sadly it happens. We've got to just move on.

"We're fortunate we feel our strength in depth is strong but it's a sad loss. We wish him all the best and hope to see him again."

Wales have moved from their training group base in Versailles and travelled to Toulon where they will prepare for the quarter-final.

Argentina beat Japan 39-27 to set up the last-eight encounter in Nantes against Wales.

"Argentina are a big physical team, lots of passion, X-factor players as well," said Bennett.

"They're not dissimilar to some of the teams we played against in the build-up, but they will bring more as well.

"We talk about their physicality but one strength of ours has been our physicality as well, so that's a challenge and an aspect of the game we'll be relishing.

"The squad is in good spirits. [We earned] 19 points in our group, topped the table. The boys are happy with what's been accomplished but very excited with what's coming with the quarter-final.

"We had a big build-up and everything was gearing up to the spot we in are right now."

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