Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales must 'draw a line' after Howley shock - Dan Biggar

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Dan Biggar gives his reaction to Rob Howley's departure
World Cup - Pool D: Wales v Georgia
Venue: City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota City Date: Monday, 23 September Kick-off: 11:15 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on every Wales game across BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

Fly-half Dan Biggar says Wales must try to draw a line under the Rob Howley controversy to keep alive hopes of World Cup success.

Backs coach Howley was sent home from the World Cup over an alleged betting breach.

Former Wales outside half Stephen Jones is flying out to Japan to link up with Warren Gatland's backroom staff as Howley's replacement.

Wales begin their campaign against Georgia on 23 September.

"We have got to draw a line under this and make sure we are prepared for Monday and build from there," said Biggar.

Gatland says he was shocked by the news while Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips announced there would be an investigation.

Biggar says the players are coping with the situation.

"It's not the ideal situation but what we've done is rolled our sleeves up a little bit and just got on with it," said Biggar.

"It's not different for us as players. I don't think we need a huge amount more galvanising than the prize that is at stake on November 2 (World Cup final).

"That is the main aim of all of us coming here and it still remains the same.

"We know there is going to be a bit more of a circus around with media and things but I'm sure by the time we get up to Toyota and the game kicks-off there will be lots more to talk about.

"Hopefully we can do our speaking on Monday night and leave this sort of stuff behind.

"That has been the main message from management and players alike, making sure you don't lose sight of what's important and at the minute what's important is Georgia."

Biggar admitted though the players had been taken aback by the revelations.

"The squad were disappointed, especially for people like myself who have only ever had Rob as coach in the set-up and he has given us every single cap we've had," said Biggar.

"It's a huge disappointment really and shock but we are also adults and realise if things like this happen we have just got to get on with it.

"We have got lots of strong characters in the squad and hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the next five or six weeks."

Gatland said Biggar and fellow fly-half Rhys Patchell had stepped up in training with kicking coach Neil Jenkins before Stephen Jones arrived in Japan.

Jones will demand high standards - Davies

Jones has worked with a lot of the Wales backs in his time as Scarlets backs coach and centre Jonathan Davies is hoping he can slot in just before the tournament.

Familiarity is a big thing so hopefully there is a seamless transition," said Davies.

"As senior players we have to work with him and I am sure Steve, as an extremely proud Welshman, is excited for his opportunity to get involved and add to what we are trying to build here as a squad.

"Having played with Steve as well what he carried over to the coaching side was the energy he always had as a player. On the training field he always had that bounce about him.

"He always demands high standards and tactically he wants the boys to play what's in front of them and make sure we make the right decisions.

"There will be a lot of excitement and Steve will give it his best shot I can guarantee that."

Davies said he had a private conversation with Howley before he returned to Wales and says the squad are dealing with the controversy.

"We have had time to process it and if you need to pull in boys at this stage of a World Cup and say you need to buck up your ideas and work harder, they wouldn't be here," said Davies.

"They understand the importance of it already and as a group now it's an added responsibility and challenge for us to keep developing the ground that we have put in the last 18 months and hopefully blossom into a potent back line with the potential that we have."

Meanwhile, Davies says he has shared a room with his brother James after vowing not to before the tournament started with the pair both receiving World Cup caps at the official ceremony.

"Before coming out here I said I wouldn't share a room with him but on the first night I had to because of a mix-up with the rooming list," said Jonathan Davies.

"We've been OK so far. He's enjoying the experience and it was great to see him get his cap because he's worked very hard - like everyone - but it's special to have my brother next to me when receiving my cap."

Listen again: Sam Warburton's guide to RWC captaincy

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