Dan Biggar and Jonathan Davies in Wales XV for France clash

Outhalf Biggar passes return to play protocols with as Gatland names strongest side

Dan Biggar has been passed fit for Wales’ Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with France. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty

Dan Biggar has been passed fit for Wales’ Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with France. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty

 

Centre Jonathan Davies and outhalf Dan Biggar have been named in the Wales starting line-up for Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France.

Davies has recovered from a knee injury suffered against Fiji nine days ago, while fly-half Biggar has successfully followed return to play protocols following a head injury.

Wing George North has shaken off an ankle knock to also start, with Wales head coach Warren Gatland naming the same team that accounted for Pool D rivals Australia last month.

The Welsh Rugby Union said they had worked with World Rugby to provide the highest level of care for Biggar following his concussion against Fiji.

The WRU said he had remained symptom-free and had completed the graduated return to play protocols with no issues.

Management of the player had included MRI scanning and two consultations with an independent concussion consultant from Australia, the WRU said in a statement.

Wales are targeting a World Cup semi-final appearance for a second time in the last three tournaments.

Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi form the back-row unit, with Ross Moriarty on the bench, where Adam Beard provides lock cover instead of Aaron Shingler.

Wales have beaten Six Nations rivals France seven times in their past eight meetings.

Saracens prop Rhys Carre also features among the replacements, being preferred to Ospreys loosehead Nicky Smith.

Gatland’s consistency of selection is underlined by it being the same team selected for Wales’ opening two World Cup group games.

WALES: L Williams (Saracens); G North (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets), H Parkes (Scarlets), J Adams (Cardiff Blues); D Biggar (Northampton), G Davies (Scarlets); W Jones (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), T Francis (Exeter), J Ball (Scarlets), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), A Wainwright (Dragons), J Tipuric (Ospreys),J Navidi (Cardiff Blues). Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), R Carre (Saracens), D Lewis (Cardiff Blues), A Beard (Ospreys), R Moriarty (Dragons), T Williams (Cardiff Blues), R Patchell (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys).

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