Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Biggar never doubted Test credentials

Dan Biggar will be rewarded with a third successive start when Wales play Italy
Dan Biggar will be rewarded with a third successive start when Wales play Italy

Dan Biggar proved his critics wrong with a match-winning contribution in Paris, but the Wales fly-half always believed he had the ability to thrive at Test level.

Despite being among the European game's top points accumulators - Biggar has scored almost 1,200 points for the Ospreys in 120 appearances - there have always been those who have doubted Biggar's composure and game management at the highest level. But Biggar has been the form number 10 in Wales this season.

Conceding a charge down try in the defeat to Ireland - Biggar's Six Nations debut - was not the best of starts, but his display against Les Bleus has been rewarded by interim head coach Rob Howley's early decision to field the same starting XV in Italy. Biggar said: "I never doubted myself. When you doubt yourself, it becomes a very uphill battle."

He added: "I've always believed I've some ability to step up and it's just nice we managed to put it together at the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed it from minute one to 80. I'm under no illusions, my performance wasn't perfect.

"There was some errors in it but in games like that there are going to be some. I think we made a couple less than France did and managed to edge it."

And Biggar is desperate to make the most of his opportunity. He said: "I have taken huge confidence out of these two games. It's been a great experience playing with great players in this great tournament.

"It's not bad playing at the Millennium Stadium one week and the Stade de France the following week.

"The experience has been unbelievable and it's a real privilege to play with that shirt on your back. It's something I want to try and keep hold of and build on because it means very little if we don't build on a great victory out in Paris.

"It's still very early days. I want to try and build on what was, as an individual, a solid performance in Paris. It was a good start and, hopefully, I can improve week in, week out."

Italy have won three of their last four Six Nations home games and Biggar is refusing to look beyond the Stadio Olimpico meeting with the Azzurri, and he added: "It's a hugely difficult place to go. You can tell that by Italian club rugby, so we have to be wary."

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