Grand Slam-chasing Wales have provided an update on the injury status of out-half Dan Biggar and also discussed the prospect of making yet another change at scrum-half for the March 13 Guinness Six Nations game away to Italy.
Biggar limped out last weekend’s Triple Crown-clinching win over England shortly after half-time, a contest in which starting scrum-half Kieran Hardy later suffered the hamstring injury that has now ruled him out of the remainder of the tournament, the trip to Rome as well as the potential Grand Slam clincher away to France on March 20.
Wales assistant coach Stephen Jones gave nothing away regarding the exact specifics of the injury that is affecting Biggar, who has spent the week back at Northampton under the regulation nine player release rule following the bump that paved the way for Callum Sheedy to come off the bench and star in closing out the win.
What Jones did insist, though, was that Biggar is expected to be in contention to face the Italians. “Dan has got an injury that he is nursing and we are very optimistic for next week,” said Jones. “We’ll find out on Monday but the reports are that we are pretty optimistic that he is going to be available to us. It’s good from that aspect. I’m not sure (what the injury is), you’ll have to ask the medical team.”
Elsewhere, the unavailability of Hardy will mean that Wales must again change their selection at No9. In their 13 matches so far under Wayne Pivac since February 2020, they have only twice been able to select the same scrum-half from one game to the next.
"There will be things from that (Wales vs England) game he will be hard on himself as well"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 4, 2021
Tomos Williams was the chosen No9 for the first two games of last year’s Six Nations, starting against Italy and Ireland, while Gareth Davies also started successive matches last autumn versus Scotland and Ireland. Other than in those two instances, Pivac has had to change his scrum-half from one game to the next and he will have to do so again for their next outing at Stadio Olimpico.
Under the Kiwi, Tomos Williams and Davies have each started four times, Hardy on three occasions while Lloyd Williams and Rhys Webb have one start each. “It will be interesting to look how many of those have been because of injury,” reflected Jones. “Obviously the autumn series was different in the sense we wanted to have a look at players across the board, but you always want consistency in selection and sometimes your hands are tied with injuries.
“For Kieran, it’s unfortunate after having a wonderful performance against England. He has picked up a hamstring injury and is unavailable for the rest of the tournament. Where that leaves us with scrum-halves is simple, we have got three left in the squad who are good to go. Tomos is ticking the boxes (after his injury), which is great, and he is taking part in training.
“It’s unfortunate for Kieran. He has worked particularly hard on his game to improve aspects and he is a very fit guy, works hard on his fitness. We thought his performance at the weekend was excellent. Unfortunate for him he is not in a position to be able to back that up.”
RugbyPass Offload EP 19 with Dan Lydiate ?
Christina, Dylan and Jamie are joined by Welsh and British & Irish Lion back-row Dan Lydiate this week!
We review all the Guinness Six Nations action, refereeing decisions & the France rugby situation.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 3, 2021
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