Biggar, Rees-Zammit set to boost Wales against Boks

Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Dan Biggar and Louis Rees-Zammit are set to return to the Wales squad for their match against South Africa after the Six Nations champions' 54-16 thumping at the hands of New Zealand.


The All Blacks scored 26 points without reply during a ruthless final quarter in Cardiff on Saturday as they recorded a 32nd successive win over Wales, a sequence stretching all the way back to 1953.

The British and Irish Lions pair of Northampton fly-half Biggar and Gloucester wing Rees-Zammit were among seven Wales players unavailable as the game took place outside World Rugby's autumn international window.

They are now set to join the squad as Wales prepare to face the world-champion Springboks at the Principality Stadium on November 6.

Injuries and illness, in addition to absences caused by the Test window, meant Wales were without 20 players for their match against the All Blacks.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and flanker Ross Moriarty then joined the casualty list when they each suffered shoulder injuries before half-time on Saturday.

But while Jones may still be fit to win his 150th Wales cap against the Springboks, it appears Moriarty's injury is more severe.

Wales coach Wayne Pivac said the match was "a good experience for some guys who hadn't played at this level for a while" despite the scoreline against the Rugby Championship title-holders.

"Now we've got players coming back in and we will settle on a squad early next week for South Africa," the New Zealander added.

Former Scarlets boss Pivac said the All Blacks' late flurry of points was no surprise.

"Clearly, the last 20 minutes showed the difference between fitness levels.

"You are talking about a (New Zealand) side that has been playing international rugby on the road for a couple of months... We fell off a cliff.

"Some boys have only had a handful of club games. We've got some work to do in that area."

One plus for Wales, however, was the performance of 21-year-old Dragons flanker Taine Basham, who impressed on his first Test start.

"Taine Basham was our man of the match," said Pivac. "He is a young guy whose confidence will go through the roof, and he is now an extra player we have at this level."

A modest Basham, who was winning just his fourth cap, added: "I just play my game. Nothing changes for me, I don't think.

"We just need to bring it next week and go up another level. I think we have got another gear in us to go up again, so I am looking forward to it."