Wales: Dan Biggar 'key' to World Cup hopes says Jonathan Thomas

Dan Biggar has won 28 caps for Wales and made his debut in November 2008 against Canada
Dan Biggar has won 28 caps for Wales and made his debut in November 2008 against Canada

Dan Biggar is "key" to Welsh hopes at the 2015 World Cup, according to former Wales back-row Jonathan Thomas.

Biggar, 25, played with Thomas at Ospreys and was man of the match in Wales' 12-6 win over South Africa.

Thomas, 31, who now plays for Worcester Warriors, told BBC Wales Sport his former team-mate was "outstanding".

"I think he is probably now our most important player, that we need to almost wrap in cotton wool looking ahead to the World Cup," said Thomas.

Saturday's victory against the Springboks ended a run of 22 consecutive defeats against the southern hemisphere "big three" for Warren Gatland's side.

Thomas, who won 67 caps for Wales between 2003 and 2011, says the men in red's first win against the Springboks since 1999 will give the Welsh a boost going into the Six Nations and 2015 World Cup.

"I think this will be a massive turning point in the evolution of this team," he said.

Biggar's half-back partner at regional and international level, scrum-half Rhys Webb, also impressed the Worcester forward during Wales' autumn campaign.

Webb, 25, scored tries in both the defeats against Australia and New Zealand this November and seems to have now overtaken British and Irish Lion Mike Phillips, 32, as first-choice Wales scrum-half.

"Dan Biggar's partnership with Rhys Webb is really exciting and they are both young guys," said Thomas.

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: Wales 28-33 Australia
Saturday, 15 November: Wales 17-13 Fiji
Saturday, 22 November: Wales 16-34 New Zealand
Saturday, 29 November: Wales 12-6 South Africa
All games played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

"In the dying moments of games you need leadership, you need people to stand up and be counted, almost a "follow me" mentality.

"I've played with Dan a lot. He was doing that as an 18-year-old and I just think he's got that big match mentality that Wales need.

"He's been the stand out player for me in the autumn internationals.

"If you think back only four weeks ago, Dan probably wasn't a definite for the 10 jersey, there was still talk of Rhys Priestland and James Hook.

"Even Rhys Webb. There were still question marks whether he could oust Mike Phillips out of his number nine jersey.

"So I think there's been a lot of questions answered in this campaign and Dan has just shown what a quality player he is.

"I think he's a real key player for us."

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