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Biggar out-half problem for Wales as Gatland prepares to trust in Anscombe

Rhys Patchell is also a potential stand-in for the injured Biggar, who is unlikely to return before Wales travel to face Ireland.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WALES LOOK SET to be without out-half Dan Biggar at least until after the Six Nations round three clash with Ireland in Dublin on 24 February.

The Ospreys playmaker suffered a shoulder injury in the Champions Cup loss to Clermont at the weekend and widespread reports yesterday said he would miss the first three rounds of the Championship to rehabilitate.

Biggar’s absence, coupled with a hamstring injury to Rhys Priestland, means Warren Gatland will likely turn to either Gareth Anscombe or Rhys Patchell for the majority of the Championship, with Cardiff Blues’ Anscombe looking the more likely owing to Patchell playing predominantly as a fullback for the Scarlets.

Gloucester’s Owen Williams is another capable of playing out-half, but he is expected to operate in midfield for Gatland in this campaign.

“They seem to have a reluctance to play Patchell at 10,” former Wales openside Martyn Williams told the BBC.

Rhys Patchell with Ma'a Nonu Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“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.”

Wales will also be without Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau, Jonathan Davies and Dan Lydiate for the opening weekend meeting with Scotland while Liam Williams is a major doubt having missed Saracens’ pool finale rout against Northampton with an abdominal issue last weekend.

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Sean Farrell

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