Wales' Biggar recovers from second head knock to play France

Beppu (Japan) (AFP) –


Wales fly-half Dan Biggar was passed fit and picked to play the quarter-final against France on Friday after recovering from his second head injury at the Rugby World Cup.

Centre Jonathan Davies was also named in Wales's team after shaking off a knee problem suffered in the pool win against Fiji nine days ago.

Wales said Biggar has completed the return to play protocols required of players after suffering head knocks during the Pool D matches against both Australia and Fiji.

He was left on the ground after a nasty collision with team-mate Liam Williams in Oita last week but the Welsh Rugby Union stressed he had remained symptom-free since the Fiji game and was cleared to play by an independent concussion consultant.

"Dan has remained symptom-free since the game and has completed the graduated return to play with no issues," a WRU statement said.

"We are pleased to say that given that all return to play protocols have been met, imaging being normal and ratification from the independent concussion consultant, that Dan has been deemed fit to play," it added.

Elsewhere in the backs, powerhouse wing George North has overcome an ankle injury, with coach Warren Gatland naming the same starting side that defeated fellow quarter-finalists Australia 29-25 in pool play last month.

Wales are again led by veteran lock Alun Wyn Jones, with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi forming the back row.

Ross Moriarty is on the bench, with Adam Beard providing cover at lock instead of Aaron Shingler.

Meanwhile Saracens prop Rhys Carre is among the replacements instead of Ospreys loosehead Nicky Smith.

Wales have beaten France seven times in their past eight meetings but the French defeated the Welsh in a 2011 World Cup semi-final.

France are due to name their side later Friday.

Wales (15-1)

Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Jake Ball; Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Ross Moriarty, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin