Wales boss Warren Gatland has hailed Dan Biggar’s “miraculous recovery” that means his fly-half playmaker will resume normal service against Six Nations opponents Scotland tomorrow.
Gatland also revealed that Biggar’s team-mates have started calling him Lazarus following a startling four-day turnaround in fortunes.
Biggar, arguably Wales’ best player at the World Cup earlier this season, limped off midway through the first half of last Sunday’s 16-16 draw with Ireland in Dublin due to a sprained ankle.
But he now lines up in an unchanged Wales team that will target a ninth successive victory over Scotland since Gatland became Wales head coach eight years ago.
“We feared the worst after the game when you saw him in a boot and on crutches,” Gatland said.
“We spoke to the medics, who thought it was a three to five-week injury, but the scan came back clear. He has worked really hard since the game in terms of his recovery, icing it and stuff.
“He had to get through today’s training, and he did that and looked sharp. I promise you there was no gamesmanship involved with Dan! He has made a miraculous recovery, and the boys have been joking, calling him Lazarus and stuff. The boys have been wanting his matchday fee to go into the pot as a fine.”
Added Biggar: “It has been a remarkable recovery, really. Limping off on Sunday, I thought it was going to be a couple of weeks’ job. Luckily, it has healed up nicely.
“I have been icing around the clock. I have had my foot in an ice bucket for the last four days, and obviously getting a lot of treatment and resting up.”
Meanwhile, Vern Cotter insists Scotland remain on the right track despite heading to Cardiff on the back of eight successive Six Nations defeats.
Cotter said: “You’ve got to be realistic. Last year we came last in the Six Nations and were very disappointed.
“The World Cup was a positive for us though. We got to the quarter-finals and came through some critical games like Samoa. That showed the players have maturity. Now we’re getting into situations where we can win. That’s exciting. Hopefully the players will get the opportunity to nail a big game.
“Internally we know we’re on the right track. We’ll keep working away and hopefully with a little luck we’ll get what we’re aiming for and things will become easier.
“But let’s put everything into perspective. We lost by six points against England. We weren’t happy with that as there were opportunities to win the game.
“However, I’d rather be in the position to win than be 20 points behind with no chance.”
The former Clermont Auvergne boss believes an extra week’s training has helped his team prepare as they seek to find a way through the physically imposing Welsh defence.
He said: “We’ve spent another week together. The weather has been kinder to us. It’s been nice to get out there and not have that horizontal rain and sleet coming down on top of us.
“There were critical moments last week when we lost possession so the accuracy is one of the things we’ve been looking at.
“But we didn’t have to drive that home to the players. They are fully aware of that.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved