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November 21, 2019

Wales' Biggar recovers from second head knock to play France - Tip News

Wales' Biggar recovers from second head knock to play France

Wales' Biggar recovers from second head knock to play France
'Wales fly-half Dan Biggar has been passed fit to play France' - By: AFP Charly TRIBALLEAU

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar was passed fit and picked to play the quarter-final against France on Friday after recovering from his second head injury at the Rugby World Cup.

Jonathan Davies was also named in Wales's team after shaking off a knee problem suffered in the pool win against Fiji nine days ago, with fellow centre Hadleigh Parkes cleared following a shoulder injury.

Wales said Biggar has completed the return-to-play protocols required of players after suffering head knocks which forced him off the field during the Pool D matches against Australia and Fiji.

Biggar was left on the ground after a nasty collision with team-mate Liam Williams in Oita last week but the Welsh Rugby Union stressed he has been symptom-free since the Fiji game and was cleared to play by an independent concussion consultant.

"Dan has remained symptom-free since the game and has completed the graduated return to play with no issues," a WRU statement said.

"We are pleased to say that given that all return to play protocols have been met, imaging being normal and ratification from the independent concussion consultant, that Dan has been deemed fit to play," it added.

Wales coach Warren Gatland, speaking to reporters following Friday's team announcement, insisted the side had carried out its "due diligence" and "covered all the bases" regarding Biggar's recovery, for all that the fly-half was "desperate to play".

- 'Playing at home' -

Elsewhere in the backs, powerhouse wing George North has overcome an ankle injury, with Gatland naming the same starting side that defeated fellow quarter-finalists Australia 29-25 in pool play last month.

Wales, again led by veteran lock Alun Wyn Jones, have had the upper hand over an often physical France side in recent times despite their defeat to the French in a 2011 World Cup semi-final.

"We've had a great record against them, 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," said Gatland, who will stand down after the World Cup following 12 years in charge.

"But in saying that, they've always been close games.

The New Zealander added the "phenomenal" support Wales had received in Japan made them feel "we are playing at home a little bit", with the closed roof of the Oita Stadium similar to the conditions at their Principality Stadium headquarters in Cardiff.

"There was an edge to this week," said former Ireland and Wasps boss Gatland.

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

Wales (15-1)

Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Jake Ball; Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Ross Moriarty, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin

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