The Biggar Picture Looks Bright Ahead of Pumas Hunt

LYON, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 24: Dan Biggar of Wales reacts during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Australia at Parc Olympique on September 24, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

The Biggar Picture Looks Bright Ahead of Pumas Hunt

Dragon Bet image 2

By David Williams

Wales’ walking wounded have broken into a jog.

That was the message from the Wales camp out in France as they try to heal bodies and soothe aches ahead of their World quarter-final clash against Argentina on Saturday.

The clock is ticking down to that first knockout stage match in Marseille and battling to be fit in time are Dan Biggar, Gareth Anscombe and Liam Williams.

The good news is that Biggar has been declared fit by the Welsh management after recovering from a chest muscle injury.

When asked if Biggar was okay to face the Pumas in Marseille, Wales assistant coach Jonathan Thomas simply said: “Yes.”

Biggar went off after just 12 minutes of Wales’ record 40-6 win against Australia during an unbeaten march through Pool C.

The No.10 and playmaker is the key tactician in the Wales set-up and can be backed at 66/1 with DragonBet to be Rugby World Cup Player of the Tournament.

The favourites for that honour at present are France’s Antoine Dupont and Ireland’s Johnny Sexton, who are both 6/1.

Then, come the two South Africans – Siya Kolisi (9/1) and Pieter-Steph Du Toit at 14/1.

There is also encouraging news about Anscombe and full-back Liam Williams.

Anscombe withdrew 45 minutes before kick-off against Georgia due to a groin problem, while Williams was on crutches after taking a blow to his knee.

Both were jogging around the Wales training camp in Marseille on Tuesday morning.

“At this stage, it is looking positive,” Thomas said, of Anscombe and Williams. “Every day it will evolve. It is probably not as bad as first feared.

“The crutches thing was to try and offload any pressure. It doesn’t mean he (Williams) has done anything severe. He was jogging about today with the medics.

“I saw him (Anscombe) jogging around on the pitch, along with Liam today.

“The first 48 hours after you have a knock is very important in terms of assessing it. With both Liam and Gareth, it is pretty positive.

“That is not me committing to saying they are definitely going to be available. It is an ongoing thing. They were both running around today with the medics, and they will try to progress that each day.”

Wales already know their number eight Taulupe Faletau is out for the tournament after breaking his arm.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up on Thursday, with Aaron Wainwright expected to be switched from blindside flanker as Faletau’s replacement.

That could mean captain Jac Morgan wearing the number six shirt and Tommy Reffell starting at openside, although Dan Lydiate and Christ Tshiunza could also be back-row options.

DragonBet are offering 10/11 on Wales selecting a back row of Morgan, Reffell and Wainwright.

You can also get 3/1 on it being Lydiate, Morgan and Wainwright, or 7/1 on Taine Basham being drafted in.

Thomas added: “There was definitely a little bit of a cloud over the victory (against Georgia) because of what happened to Taulupe.

“We have been together for a long time as a whole group, and you build relationships and you become a little bit like a family. When one of your brothers has to leave, it is tough.

“It is what it is. You have got to deal with it and you have got to move on. That is sport and the harsh reality of it.”

Argentina looked awful when they lost their first pool match against England, but have improved with each game since and were pretty slick when they put away Japan last weekend, 39-27.

You can back them at a tasty 13/8 to beat Wales if you prefer your beef to your lamb.

Or you might fancy the Pumas with a +3.5 start, at evens. Or maybe Wales giving a 3.5 start, at 8/11.

Dragon Bet image 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.