Dan Biggar says the World Cup will be an exciting affair

Wales captain Dan Biggar believes next year’s World Cup will offer “a very level playing field” after the Northern Hemisphere nations made a strong announcement of their credentials.

England remain the only European country to be crowned world champions after a Jonny Wilkinson-inspired triumph in Australia 19 years ago.

And while it’s still more than a year before the next global rugby union spectacle takes center stage, the form guide is taking an enticing shape.

Ireland’s first win over the All Blacks in New Zealand, England v Australia in Brisbane, Wales ending 58 years of injury on South African soil and Scotland toppling Argentina away was a stunning super Saturday.

All four touring teams now enter the series decider next Saturday while the sport’s world rankings are set for a significant power shift.

“It’s really exciting to look forward to about 12 months in France,” said Biggar after Wales defeated the world champions 13-12 in Bloemfontein.

“There isn’t really a stand out team that competes in the World Cup as there have probably been the last couple of times where New Zealand have been miles ahead of everyone.

“It’s very much a level playing field and anyone can beat anyone.”

A week after pushing South Africa to its limits in a first Test thriller, Wales equalized the series when Gareth Anscombe kicked a touchline conversion with two minutes left after his substitute Josh Adams claimed his 20th Test attempt.

It was Wales’ first win over the Springboks in South Africa, coming on a 12th attempt, and came just over three months after Biggar and company lost to Italy in Cardiff.

“Thanks to Wayne (Wales head coach Pivac) and management we probably didn’t overreact to the end of the Six Nations,” added Biggar, who took a slap on the shoulder and left early in the second half Toyota- Stadion.

“We definitely should have won against France, we could have won against England and we were obviously disappointed with the result (against Italy).

“We have stayed true to our goals and game plan in terms of what we want to achieve.

“I think professional sport is so cutthroat. When you lose, those defeats last for months and months, in contrast to the fact that sometimes your victories are over before you blink.

“There have been some very, very good Welsh teams that have come here and been sent home. We’re a really close-knit group and everyone deserves a pat on the back.”

Gareth Anscombe (far right) celebrates Wales’ win with team mates (Themba Hadebe/AP)

(AP)

For match winner Anscombe, whose goal decided the series in Cape Town next Saturday, it was a particularly good opportunity after his long struggle to overcome a career-threatening knee injury.

He missed the 2019 World Cup and more than two years of Test rugby before returning against New Zealand last autumn.

“Last week was exactly two years to the day I had the surgery, the osteotomy, and it wasn’t a question of whether I would play again, it was whether I would walk,” Anscombe told www.wru.co. United Kingdom.

“There were so many unknowns and it’s just a small moment that I’m here. My last major surgery – my third – was on July 7, 2020, and that’s when everything turned upside down.

“This effort, this kick, is the culmination of the work of so many people. I’m just glad I was able to level up when I was supposed to and just do my job.

“Maybe I had the rugby gods on my side. I’m just happy that I was able to be part of this group and achieve something very special.”

Anscombe missed the birth of his baby son Theo last month after giving up as late as possible in consultation with Pivac to set off on the South Africa tour, adding: ‘It will be nice to show him that in 10 years and say ‘that’s why dad missed it’! Hopefully he’ll understand.”

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