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07th Nov 2019

Dan Biggar the star 10 at World Cup – Flannery

Rob O'Hanrahan

It might seem like a strange choice, but think about it.

You get the impression Wales will feel like this one slipped through their fingers.

Grand Slam champions coming into the tournament, Wales seemed to be doing what they always have done under Warren Gatland and peaking in a World Cup year. They scraped past France, with a little helping elbow from Sebastien Vahaamahina, but lost an arm-wrestle of a semi-final to eventual champions South Africa.

It wasn’t the best of preparations going into the tournament, the loss of key players such as Gareth Anscombe, Toby Faletau prior to flying out and then Josh Navidi over in Japan, as well as coach Rob Howley’s exit prior to a ball being kicked, meant that they were always scrambling. In the end, the Webb Ellis trophy was just a step too far.

Speaking on The JOEpan Rugby Show this week, Jerry Flannery picked his team of the tournament, and one name in particular stood out in his decisions.

Dan Biggar at fly half.

It’s the kind of call that you might immediately scoff at, before realising that there mightn’t be anyone to step into his place. Flannery insisted that the Northampton 10 was the standout performer in his position at the tournament;

“If you look at it, put it in context… Gareth Anscombe was going to be the first choice for Wales going into that World Cup. They lost him to his ACL, so Biggar came in, lot of pressure on him to perform then and I thought he stepped up hugely. I just really rate him as a player, and when I look at the other guys like Handre Pollard, who had a great game in the final, I didn’t feel throughout the tournament that Pollard was at the level that he can be at. Richie Mo’unga had a good tournament for New Zealand, but probably not strong enough overall and then I felt looking at the likes of Tamura, he’s good but his game isn’t rounded enough. You had George Forde and Owen Farrell alternating there, but I think Dan Biggar was the guy for me who I felt had the biggest influence on his team at 10.”

On Episode 14 of The JOEpan Rugby Show, Jerry Flannery picks his Team of the Tournament. 2 Welsh, 3 New Zealanders, 4 English, 4 South Africans and 2 Japanese players… WATCH below:

WATCH both provincial derbies in the Pro 14 live on eir Sport this weekend, Connacht v Leinster and Munster v Ulster –

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