Biggar gets chance against New Zealand

Dan Biggar faces the biggest challenge of his short career after being handed the Wales number 10 jersey for Saturday's series finale against New Zealand in Hamilton.

The Ospreys fly-half has been given the nod ahead of veteran Stephen Jones, who has been nursing a thumb injury he suffered in last weekend's 42-9 first Test loss to the All Blacks and has been named on the bench.



Saturday's match at Waikato Stadium will be Biggar's third start for his country since making his debut off the bench against Canada in November 2008.



He started against the same opposition on last year's tour of North America and was a replacement against the United States the following week.



His only other appearance in the starting XV came against Samoa last November so taking on New Zealand - and possibly going toe-to-toe with Dan Carter if he's passed fit on Thursday - will be a big step up in class for the 20-year-old.



But one of Wales' most successful fly-halves, Neil Jenkins, the current kicking coach for the national side, is backing the youngster to perform in one of world rugby's toughest environments.



"He doesn't need any words of advice from me," Jenkins said. "He's a confident young man. I've known him since he was 14 ... he's a fantastic young player.



"I'm sure he'll have a little bit of nerves but again he'll see it as a huge challenge and playing against someone like Dan Carter you're only going to learn from that."



The only other change to the side that suffered at Carisbrook sees Jonathan Davies replace the injured Andrew Bishop (broken hand) at centre.



Coach Warren Gatland, back in his home town this week, has opted to stick with the same forward pack that pushed the All Blacks for a large part of last week's Test.



The home side, however, pulled away in a rampant second-half display of counter-attacking rugby to eventually outscore the Welsh by five tries to none.



There are four changes to the bench with Jones swapping with Biggar, Dragons wing Will Harries coming in for the promoted Davies and Blues scrum-half Richie Rees replacing Tavis Knoyle.



Ospreys prop Craig Mitchell replaces John Yapp who injured his left ankle in training on Tuesday.



Huw Bennett, Deiniol Jones and Rob McCusker are all retained from last weekend meaning hooker Ken Owens and lock Ian Gough are the only two players in the 27-man squad to get no game time on the two-Test tour.



"This is a magnificent place to tour and we have received a wonderful welcome in Hamilton after being involved in a tough game against New Zealand last week," said Gatland.



"There is a lot of mutual respect amongst the players and the people of New Zealand and Wales and we are two nations who love our rugby, but you don't get respect in this country, collectively or individually, unless you perform on the pitch here.



"We want to leave here with our heads held high after Saturday and with the respect of the New Zealand nation and we will only do that if we perform as individuals and collectively on the pitch."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor