Biggar steps up for Wales
June 24, 2010
Dan Biggar starts for Wales in Hamilton © Getty Images
Rising star Dan Biggar has been handed the Wales No.10 shirt for Saturday's second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton.
The Ospreys fly-half has been given the nod ahead of veteran Stephen Jones, who has been nursing a thumb injury he suffered in last weekend's 42-9 first Test loss to the All Blacks and has been named on the bench.
The only other change to the side that suffered at Carisbrook sees Jonathan Davies replace the injured Andrew Bishop (broken hand) at centre.
Mils Muliaina's return at fullback is one of seven changes to New Zealand's starting line-up. Muliaina, a veteran of 82 Tests, has recovered from a calf strain and replaces the injured Israel Dagg (concussion) in a new-look back three that also sees Zac Guildford come in on the left wing in place of Joe Rokocoko.
Daniel Carter has been named in the starting line-up despite suffering a tight calf and although Graham Henry said he was "hopeful" his star fly-half would be fit to start, he confirmed Aaron Cruden would step up if the 68-Test pivot failed to recover in time.
New Zealand: Mils Muliaina (Chiefs); Cory Jane (Hurricanes), Richard Kahui (Chiefs), Benson Stanley (Blues), Zac Guildford (Crusaders); Daniel Carter (Crusaders), Jimmy Cowan (Highlanders); Tony Woodcock (Blues), Keven Mealamu (Blues), Neemia Tialata (Hurricanes), Brad Thorn (Crusaders), Tom Donnelly (Highlanders), Jerome Kaino (Blues), Richie McCaw (Crusaders), Kieran Read (Crusaders).
Replacements: Aled de Malmanche (Chiefs), Owen Franks (Crusaders), Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), Adam Thomson (Highlanders), Piri Weepu (Hurricanes); Aaron Cruden (Hurricanes), Rene Ranger (Blues)
Wales: Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Tom Prydie (Ospreys); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Ospreys); Paul James (Ospreys), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Gavin Thomas (Newport-Gwent Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt).
Replacements: Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Craig Mitchell (Ospreys), Deiniol Jones (Cardiff Blues), Rob McCusker (Scarlets), Richard Rees (Cardiff Blues), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Will Harries (Newport-Gwent Dragons)
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September