RUGBY

Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales injury problems ease for France quarter-final

Wales coach Warren Gatland expects to have a fully fit squad to chose from for the World Cup quarter-final against France in Oita on 20 October.

Centre Jonathan Davies and fly-half Dan Biggar missed Sunday’s win over Uruguay that clinched top spot in Pool D.

Davies has been given the all clear following a scan on his injured knee, while Biggar is recovering from two head knocks in the victories over Fiji and Australia.

“We are in a good place,” said Gatland.

“Talking to the medics they are hopeful that in a couple of days we will be able to get everyone fit and available for selection – the whole 31 training.

“That will be the first time we have had that out here, which is really good. Now it’s about creating momentum.”

Davies came off against Fiji after setting up a try for Josh Adams, while Biggar was the victim of a sickening collision with team-mate Liam Williams in the same game.
Wing George North should recover from an ankle injury, while centre Hadleigh Parkes picked up a shoulder knock in the final move of the match against Uruguay, though he says he should be fine.

“Jonathan had a scan and it came back clear, which is really positive for us. Initially we were a bit worried,” said Gatland.

“Dan is going through his protocols and he had a scan as well. We have spoken to consultants from World Rugby about him and he has spoken to the consultant as well. They are pleased with the progress he is making, so hopefully he will be fine.

“George had a slight ankle injury but he is going to be OK.”

Wales topped Pool D after four wins and now play unbeaten France, who finished second in Pool C after their final group game against England was called off because of Typhoon Hagibis.

France will have had a two-week break after victories over Argentina, Tonga and the United States.

“We have a pretty good record against France, but they are a tournament team. People write them off and then they produce a performance no-one expects,” said Gatland.

“They have quality individuals and seem to thrive in quarter-finals and semi-finals. It will be tough but we will thrive on that. We seem to play better against better sides.

“They will be a little fresher than us, but we feel battle-hardened. They are undefeated like us, so it should be a great match.”

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