Dan Biggar hands Ospreys rare injury boost
DAN Biggar has handed the Ospreys a rare piece of positive injury news ahead of their clash with the four-times kings of Europe, Toulouse, in south west France this afternoon (1.35pm British Time).
Biggar flew out with the squad yesterday after passing a late fitness test on the shoulder injury he picked up during Wales's autumn series defeat to Samoa last month.
Already without skipper Alun Wyn Jones and fellow Wales internationals Adam Jones, Ian Evans, Richard Hibbard, Jonathan Thomas, Aaron Jarvis and Richard Hibbard, the loss of the region's leading points-scorer would have been another massive blow to take.
However, Biggar's inclusion will at least provide head coach Steve Tandy with a welcome tonic as he plots a way of claiming a victory the region have admitted would be the greatest in their short history.
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Biggar's half-back partner Kahn Fotuali'i retains the captain's armband ahead of returning Wales internationals Justin Tipuric and Ryan Jones, while new signing Campbell Johnstone is plunged straight into the cauldron of European conflict at tight-head prop.
Johnstone is one of four players making their Heineken Cup debuts at the Stade Ernest Wallon — full-back Ross Jones, lock James King and hooker Scott Baldwin are the others. Toulouse, meanwhile, are able to parade a multi-national line-up that includes a host of France stars, All Black Luke McAlister, Wallaby scrum-half Luke Burgess, Pumas lock Patricio Albacete, Springbok front- rowers Gurthro Steenkamp and Gary Botha and 20 stone Samoan colossus Census Johnston, who destroyed the Welsh scrum during the autumn.
Toulouse: Y. Huget; M. Medard, Y. David, F. Fritz, V. Clerc; L. McAlister, L. Burgess; G. Steenkamp, G. Botha, C. Johnston, R. Millo-Chluski, P. Albacete, J. Bouilhou, L. Picamoles, Y. Nyanga (capt). Reps: C. Tolofua, J-B. Poux, Y. Montes, Y. Maestri, G. Lamboley, E. Maka, G. Fickou, J. Marc Doussain.
Ospreys: R. Fussell; R. Jones, A. Bishop, A. Beck, E. Walker; D. Biggar, K. Fotuali'i (capt); D. Jones, S. Baldwin, C. Johnstone, I. Gough, J. King, R. Jones, J. Bearman, J. Tipuric, J. Bearman. Reps: M. Dwyer, R. Bevington, D. Arhip, L. Peers, S. Lewis, R. Webb, M. Morgan, T. Isaacs.