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Public criticism is 'part and parcel of the game' - Dan Biggar

Published 11/11/2016

Fly-half Dan Biggar will be an integral part of Wales' victory bid against Argentina on Saturday
Fly-half Dan Biggar will be an integral part of Wales' victory bid against Argentina on Saturday

Dan Biggar believes that public criticism is "part and parcel of the game" as Wales look to bounce back from their Wallabies walloping when they tackle Argentina on Saturday.

But the Wales fly-half has also cited a famous number 10 from another sport - England football captain Wayne Rooney - as an example of when he feels things can go too far.

Rooney has unusually been a substitute for Manchester United several times this season and was also on the bench for England in their World Cup qualifier against Slovenia - a combination of events which sparked sometimes fierce critical comment about him.

Biggar and company also faced headlines of the wrong type this week following a 32-8 defeat against Australia that was Wales' heaviest home defeat for 10 years.

"I am not on social media, but of course you pick up little things and what people say in articles and that, but for me, it's just part and parcel of the game," said Biggar, who wins his 50th cap this weekend.

"The way I look at it, I'm in a great position.

"Imagine being someone like Wayne Rooney over the last three months and the press, their disgusting treatment of one of England's better players. If I think I'm having a tough time, just look at him.

"Living and playing in Wales can be very much a goldfish bowl. Sometimes, it can be nice to be outside of that and get on with your day-to-day life.

"But I don't take any notice of the criticism and, ultimately, everyone wants Wales to do well and get better.

"If everyone had gone out there and not tried (last Saturday) and rolled over, been lax and not hurt by it, fair enough, but it is not as if we weren't trying.

"It's always easier to slow the tape down and criticise after the event.

"We were hugely disappointed, we've spoken very honestly about it, but now it's about focusing on Argentina, putting a better performance in, enjoying ourselves a bit more and taking a little bit of pressure off ourselves.

"What I've learnt over the years is that you cannot change people's opinions.

"I watched a little bit of the football last Sunday, went out for food with my wife and did normal things. Was it going to change the result if we stayed in hiding for two days? Is it going to change what people say?

"It's not going to change a thing. You have just got to be mature about it. A couple of years ago, I would have probably stayed in the house and drawn the curtains."

Biggar will be key to Wales' hopes of posting a first Test match win since March, aiming to pull the tactical strings for a much-changed team that sees no Jamie Roberts, but Roberts' fellow British and Irish Lions Test players Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones both returning.

Recent history in the fixture favours Wales, having beaten Argentina in four of the countries' last five meetings, but Biggar knows a powerful Pumas challenge awaits.

"Argentina have got a Super Rugby franchise now, they were semi-finalists and finished fourth at the World Cup last year and they have got some world-class players," he added.

"We will have to put in a very good performance - certainly better than last week - to pick up a result.

"The way they play the game, there is going to be plenty of off-loads, and I wouldn't have thought there would be too much kicking from them. I am sure it will be an entertaining game and a real challenge for us - we are being prepared for a full-blooded Test match."

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