Dan Biggar: Wales fly-half should be 'ready to go' against Fiji

Dan Biggar leaves the field during Wales' win against Australia
Dan Biggar left the field midway through the first half against Australia
Rugby World Cup: Wales v Fiji
Venue: Oita Stadium, Oita Date: Wed, 9 October Kick-off: 10:45 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.

Wales say fly-half Dan Biggar should be "ready to go" to face Fiji in the World Cup group game in Oita on 9 October.

Wales are waiting to see whether Biggar proves his fitness before the Pool D match after coming off in the 29-25 win over Australia.

Biggar suffered a head injury but Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins says he is on track to play Fiji.

"As far as I understand, he hopefully will be ready to go by the time we play Fiji. That's good news," said Jenkins.

Biggar could return to training on Friday if he passes all the relevant stages of recovery and tests.

The 29-year-old left the field in the first half against Australia after his try-saving tackle on Australia centre Samu Kerevi and failed a head injury assessment.

"He is symptom-free at the minute, and just doing his protocols as you normally would," said Jenkins.

"We haven't done any training since the match but he's fine. He is pretty good around the team room. He will be fine.

"He is an outstanding, world-class rugby player, so he's a huge part of our team and the way we like to play the game."

Biggar's presence is crucial because the Northampton fly-half and Rhys Patchell are the only recognised number 10s in Wales' 31-man squad.

Patchell provided a composed 14-point replacement's performance to help guide Wales to victory against Australia.

His second-half penalty and drop-goal in Tokyo kept Wales far enough ahead to war off the Wallabies determined revival.

"We have only got two 10s, and they are both vitally important to us," said Jenkins.

"I think we must not forget how good Rhys was when he came on, and how good a player he is as well. We are lucky to have the strength in depth we have in our squad.

"Rhys was excellent against Australia. He came on and played the game we wanted to play and put us in the right areas and got us the lead we maintained to win the game."

Wales' intense win against Australia followed a 43-14 success over Georgia and means Warren Gatland's side top Pool D at the halfway stage.

They are firmly in control of the group on course for a potential quarter-final appointment with France or Argentina, if England top Pool C.

Wales have a 10-day break before facing Fiji. Gatland's squad have moved to a training base in Otsu before arriving in Oita to face Fiji.

Wales will hope both playmakers will be available for the match that could seal quarter-final qualification.

Background

The Wales number 10 shirt has not been blessed with much luck before and during the World Cup.

Gareth Anscombe and Biggar were in line to be the two specialists in the original squad for Japan.

But Anscombe was ruled out when he suffered a serious knee injury in the opening warm-up game against England in August.

Patchell was handed the selection spot in the final squad ahead of Jarrod Evans after impressing from the bench against Ireland in Cardiff.

The Scarlets suffered a head knock in the return fixture in Dublin and has had his own issues with concussion over the past two seasons.

Liam Williams and Hadleigh Parkes
Full-back Liam Williams (left) and centre Hadleigh Parkes could provide fly-half cover for Wales

If Biggar did not make the cut, then Wales will have to press a non-specialist into action as injury cover for Patchell.

Centre Hadleigh Parkes has played 10 for Scarlets, while full-back Liam Williams have been touted as possible cover, but neither are natural 10s.

Williams also picked up an ankle injury against Australia which the Welsh medics are monitoring.

Wales had talked about asking a rookie to cover fly-half for the final group game against Uruguay on 13 October. Having to do that against Fiji is a different proposition.

Lock pick issues

The other problem position remains the second row, with Ospreys locks Bradley Davies and Adam Beard aiming to prove their fitness after not playing a part in the tournament so far.

Beard arrived at the World Cup later than the rest of the squad after having his appendix removed, while Davies only landed in Japan last week as a replacement for the injured Cory Hill.

Aaron Shingler packs down on the flank for Wales
Aaron Shingler normally plays flanker, but his two appearances in Japan have been in the second row

Captain Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball are the only fit specialist second-rows and have started both victories over Georgia and Australia with Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler providing the replacements cover.

"It has been very unexpected," said Shingler.

"I'm very happy though to be involved. Coming over here it is great to be involved in the 23 and I'll play any position I can.

"I'm comfortable in that position. I'm more comfortable playing in the back row, but if I have to play in the second row I'll be more than happy to do it.

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