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Rugby-Biggar and Halfpenny boost for Wales ahead of England clash

Updated: 19-02-2019 02:37 IST
Rugby-Biggar and Halfpenny boost for Wales ahead of England clash

Wales flyhalf Dan Biggar and fullback Leigh Halfpenny have returned to training in a boost to the country's preparations ahead of the Six Nations meeting with England on Saturday. Biggar, 29, went off with his knee heavily strapped 20 minutes into Northampton's Premiership victory over Sale at the weekend but the Welsh Rugby Union said he trained on Monday and was in contention, along with rival Gareth Anscombe, for the flyhalf berth for the test in Cardiff.

Halfpenny has not played since suffering concussion against Australia last November but was released by Wales to play for the Scarlets in the PRO14 last weekend, although he was left out against Benetton in Italy. "He trained with us last week and we will integrate (him) again this week," said Wales assistant coach Rob Howley. "Any news on selection will be taken at the end of the week."

Halfpenny, 30, was told by a specialist in January that he needed more time to get over the symptoms of concussion after Australia.centre Samu Kerevi clattered into him having failed to charge down Halfpenny’s clearance in their test in Cardiff. Meanwhile, Howley said home advantage had the potential to give Wales a five-point start over England as the two unbeaten teams clash in a potential competition decider.

"It's our first home game, and the supporters can give us a huge lift,” he said after success in France and Italy in the first two rounds. "We have to give something to the crowd, we understand that, but I always think playing at home in the best stadium in the world gives you a five-point start.

"When the crowd get behind you and start singing, that gives a huge motivation for our players, and hopefully we will have the same experience this Saturday,” he added. "The players are very focused, we've got a really positive mindset.

"It is important that we play the game on our terms, and also we are aware of what the landscape might be on Saturday with the amount of kicks. The aerial battle, like in every international, is going to be important." (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris)