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Six Nations 2018: Wales fly-half Dan Biggar to miss first three rounds


Dan Biggar

Dan Biggar has won 60 caps for Wales

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is set to miss the first three rounds of the Six Nations with a shoulder problem.

Biggar, 28, was injured in Ospreys’ weekend defeat at Clermont Auvergne.

The Welsh Rugby Union is yet to confirm the extent of the damage, but it is understood Biggar is likely to miss the Scotland, England and Ireland games.

It leaves Wales without their two leading fly-halves, with Rhys Priestland out of most of the tournament with a hamstring problem.

Head coach Warren Gatland is without British and Irish Lions stars Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau and Jonathan Davies, while Liam Williams and George North have only just returned from injury.

Rhys Patchell, Owen Williams and Gareth Anscombe will vie for the number 10 jersey in Biggar and Priestland’s absence, with Scarlets playmaker Patchell excelling for his region this season.

Patchell has won five Wales caps since making his debut in 2013, but has yet to start a Test at fly-half or feature in the Six Nations.

Wales open the Championship by hosting Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday, 3 February before travelling to face England at Twickenham seven days later.

A Dublin date against Ireland follows on 24 February before home games against Italy on 11 March and France on 17 March.

Analysis

Former Wales captain Martyn Williams:

“It is a massive blow for Wales.

“Dan is outstanding, one of our best players. There are some real big decisions now for Wales and Warren Gatland.

“I don’t think Warren is going to go with Owen Williams at 10 so you are left with a straight shootout between Rhys Patchell and Gareth Anscombe.

“They are two quality players who have been in really good from at full-back over the last couple of weeks.

“They seem to have a reluctance to play Patchell at 10. Rob Howley seems to see him as a 15 and Gatland seems to be a big fan of Anscombe.

“I would go with Patchell but I think they will start with Anscombe against Scotland and that would be the safer choice.”