Biggar is better after passing protocols, say Wales

Fly-half returns to line-up to take on France after suffering concussions against Australia and Fiji.

OITA, 18 Oct - Coach Warren Gatland says Wales have done "due diligence" and "covered all the bases" after fly-half Dan Biggar was passed fit for Sunday's quarter-final against France in Oita.

Wales have worked with World Rugby and an independent consultant after the Northampton player suffered concussion in successive pool games against Australia and Fiji.

Biggar, who sat out the final Pool D game against Uruguay, will line up at Oita Stadium having trained this week after passing the return-to-play protocols.

"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.

 

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

"He's desperate to play. 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.

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

In a separate statement, the WRU said there were two consultations with a globally renowned Independent Concussion Consultant from Australia who deemed Biggar fit to play after looking at the MRI scans.

Centres Jonathan Davies (knee) and Hadleigh Parkes (shoulder) and wing George North (ankle) have also all been passed fit with Wales reverting to the same starting line-up that beat Australia and Fiji on their way to topping the pool.

Gatland, who leaves his post at the end of the tournament, insists Wales are happy to go into the game as favourites.

"Michael Cheika (Australia coach) said we were favourites against Australia and we handled that. It comes with the territory of building and being confident.

"If you take out the World Cup warm-up games, we have won 18 competitive games in a row, we are Grand Slam champions and we know as we go on in tournaments we get stronger and more confident and more cohesive as a unit.

"We are building nicely, going under the radar. There is still a lot more talk about other teams and games and that suits us.

"We've had a great record against France, we've won seven of the last eight games and the one we lost was the 100-minute game in Paris where they scored in the last minute.

"There was an edge to this week and the players have been incredibly professional in the way they've prepared, the staff have done extra work and we've tried to nail off every situation because we know it's knockout stages.

"The message to the players is: you've got two choices - we are either on the plane on Monday going home or we are here until the end of the tournament."

RNS ig/sg/lm