Ospreys sensation Dan Biggar should face the All Blacks this weekend – that’s the view of a former Wales outside-half.
Biggar has been in superb form this season, securing the Ospreys No10 shirt ahead of fellow Wales star James Hook and guiding the region to Magners League glory in Dublin.
The 20-year-old has been a calming influence at the Liberty Stadium as the Ospreys surged towards a third Magners League crown in seven years.
Biggar has yet to oust British & Irish Lions starter Stephen Jones from the Wales line up but, with Jones struggling with a thumb injury, Gareth Davies believes now is the time to give the youngster his biggest challenge yet.
"You don't wish an injury on anyone but it probably would be a good thing if Dan played anyway," Davies, who won 21 caps for Wales between 1978 and 1985 and represented the Lions, told the Western Mail.
"He is going to be around for a while, so I would be inclined to pick him.
"The purpose of this tour is to benchmark yourself against the world's best but also to see if young players like Biggar can cope at the highest level."
Wales arrive in Hamilton for the second Test against the world’s number one ranked side having lost the first encounter 42-9 in Dunedin last weekend.
But while a second heavy defeat is not on anyone’s agenda, Davies believes Warren Gatland must turn an eye to the future and to next year’s World Cup in New Zealand in particular.
"You could just play him against the southern hemisphere countries in Wales in the end-of-year series. But Dan may be pitched in against the All Blacks and South Africa next year in the World Cup and he now needs that exposure," added Davies.
"There is no more stringent test than New Zealand on their own patch. A new inexperienced No10 will always be targeted but he seems like the type of player who would welcome that. It is a compliment if they target you and he seems like a confident young lad.
"He appears to be able to run the show and it says a lot he has secured his spot for the Ospreys. Dan loves bossing a game and it is important for a fly-half to be a focal part because he is the critical decision-maker of the side.
"As long as he stays fit, I still see Stephen as an integral part of the Welsh set-up up until the World Cup. But if Dan takes this opportunity and if he is given a couple of chances in the end-of-year internationals, the World Cup fly-half jersey is up for grabs."