By Mitch Phillips
OITA, Japan (Reuters) – Flyhalf Dan Biggar and centre Jonathan Davies, two of Wales’ most important players, are back in training and should be available for Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against France, assistant coach Stephen Jones said on Tuesday.
Both missed Sunday’s final pool game against Uruguay, though they would likely have been rested anyway.
Davies looks to be getting the better of a knee injury sustained against Fiji, while Biggar is satisfying the medical team he is not suffering from the collision with team mate Liam Williams in the same game that brought about his second head injury of the tournament.
“Dan’s good to go, he’s training with us today, which is fantastic,” Jones told a news conference at the team’s training base just outside Oita.
He added that he was “not too sure on the medical condition” of Davies, but said he had been taking part in training.
“From a coaching position, I’m just glad he’s back fit and healthy,” he said.
“You look at those players – huge experience, great skill-set. Jon has a physical threat and you saw what he did with that last line-break just before he got injured.
“It’s vital we have everyone fit and healthy and the medical team have done a fantastic job on our players.”
Jones took over as attack coach after Rob Howley was sent home on the eve of the tournament to face an investigation over betting.
Wales go into the match having won seven of the teams’ eight meetings since the 2011 semi-final that was edged by the French.
“That is great but we know it’ll be a different challenge on Sunday,” Jones said when asked about the hot streak. “It’s a healthy rivalry and they are an opposition we respect.
“They are players who are very unpredictable, who enjoy the broken field. If we are loose and turn ball over easily, then they are in their element and are very, very dangerous.
“They also had a tough game against Argentina and they stayed in the arm wrestle and came out on top. They were good against the USA and they had a tough game against Tonga, but they stayed in the fight.
“But really we’re concentrating on getting our own house in order,” Jones said. “Our focus is on ourselves, it’s as simple as that.”
South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will be the referee for the game, tournament officials announced on Tuesday.
(Editing by Robert Birsel/Peter Rutherford)