Dan Biggar of Wales. Pic: Simon King/Replay Images.

Wales Given Dan Biggar Boost . . . But Flag Up French Cheating Worries

By Tom Jenkins

Dan Biggar and Josh Adams are both expected to make the Wales team to face France, who will have taken note of Wyn Jones’ claims the visitors will try to cheat their way to victory on Saturday.

Outside-half Biggar suffered concussion during the 24-14 defeat to Ireland in Dublin – a position the Grand Slam champions are struggling in after Owen Williams was ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

Wales assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys said: “Dan Biggar’s good. He’s taking part in full training. He’s hopefully going to carry on and pass his protocols. Fingers crossed, he’ll be ready.”

Winger Adams is fit and has returned to training after suffering a hip injury in Dublin.

Head coach Wayne Pivac has also called-up Cardiff Blues back Hallam Amos to replace Owen Lane, who has also been ruled out of the remainder of the campaign.

The back line may be where the fitness concerns are, but in the front row Jones has raised tensions ahead of the game by suggesting that the French scrum will “hit and chase and cheat” at the Principality Stadium.

France are targeting a first Six Nations win on Welsh soil since 2010, and Jones has suggested the leaders will go to any lengths necessary to maintain their winning start.

“They’ll be a big pack, but probably ill-disciplined with that, especially at scrum time,” Jones said.

“We know they will hit and chase and cheat. That’s something we are fully aware of and something we’ve got to combat on the day.

“They will look to push early, they’ll look to mess about at scrum time. That’s something we’ve looked at. We will just concentrate on ourselves.

Guglielmo Palazzani of Italy puts in to the scrum. Pic: Simon King/Replay Images.

“In any aspect of the game, all you want is consistency, and maybe some calls are frustrating, but you’ve just got to play what’s in front of you.

“We want to be positive,” added Jones, the loose-head prop who was penalised twice early in the opening game against Italy.

“We have a no-cheating mentality and show positive pictures.

Former Wales hooker Humphreys added: “The scrum is a work in progress for us and there has been some really good stuff.

“But when you are dealing with tight-heads who are angling across scrums it creates instability and problems. France like to exert dominance up front but the laws are clear: you must push straight, but there is inconsistency because there are still rewards for tightheads who angle across.”

The match will be refereed by England’s Matt Carley who will be taking charge of his second game in the Six Nations having made his tournament debut in Rome last year when France won 25-14. The Wales head coach, Wayne Pivac, plans to speak to him about scrummaging later this week.

“I hope this is something that referees get harder and harder on,” said Humphreys.

“If everyone is forced to push square, you have stability and a contest, which we all want. Wayne will speak to the referee closer to the day. We have a lot of data about what he is keen on and he is a good referee. We are happy with the appointment.”


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