The fly-half helps Wales beat England and reach No 1 in the World Rugby Rankings for the first time

Dan Biggar has perfect riposte to JJ Williams’s criticism

Dan Biggar was heavily criticised by JJ Williams in the lead-up to Wales’ second World Cup warm-up, but delivered the perfect response with a Man of the Match performance in the 13-6 victory over England that takes his country to the top of the World Rugby Rankings for the first time.

Biggar is Wales’ first-choice fly-half now Gareth Anscombe has been ruled out of Japan 2019 with an ACL injury suffered in the defeat at Twickenham last week.

However, former Wales wing JJ Williams believes Jarrod Evans should have been given a shot in the No 10 jersey against England in Cardiff.

“I would have gone with Jarrod Evans in this game,” he said. “It’s an ideal opportunity to try him.

Dan Biggar has perfect riposte to JJ Williams’s criticism

Sidelined: Gareth Anscombe has been ruled out of the World Cup with injury (Getty Images)

“We go back to Biggar, you haven’t got so much of a threat. He’s a rock-solid outside-half, he’ll kick the ball a lot and he’ll work hard, but we’ve said in the past we’re not going to win the World Cup with Dan Biggar in the team.”

Yet Biggar was the star man as Wales bounced back from last week’s defeat to sit atop the world rankings for the first time.

The fly-half put England under pressure with his kicking game, defended extremely well and created the game’s only try for George North with two clever kicks. The first was wide to Josh Adams from a quickly-taken penalty and the second – a cross-field kick to North – came a couple of phases later.

Then when giving his post-match interview as Man of the Match, Biggar called out Williams for his comments. He said: “Special thanks to JJ Williams for all his comments this week. It’s been really motivating.”

You can watch the interview here…

Ken Owens’s reaction to North catching Biggar’s cross-field kick ahead of him was also priceless – the hooker clearly feeling he had a chance at scoring the try. Watch the clip here…

Wales’ win ends New Zealand’s near decade-long reign as the world’s No 1-ranked team. The All Blacks have led the chart since November 2009, but despite beating Australia 36-0 they have been knocked off top spot by Wales, who have won 14 of their last 15 Tests.

Dan Biggar has perfect riposte to JJ Williams’s criticism

Trophy time: Beauden Barrett with the Bledisloe Cup, but New Zealand are no longer No 1 in the world (Getty Images)

The world rankings are officially updated on Monday and while Wales will be proud to hold the position, it’s a win on 2 November in the World Cup final that all teams are targeting.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.