Every match from the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa is exclusively live on Sky Sports; fans who don’t have Sky will be able to catch all the action via streaming service NOW, which offers day/monthly passes; watch the Sharks vs Lions on Wednesday, live on Action and Main Event
Dan Biggar believes he is well in the mix for a starting Test jersey
Dan Biggar is in the driving seat to start for the Lions when they take on South Africa in the first Test after his superb performance against Japan.
However, as well as receiving plenty of plaudits for that display, he has also made former referee Nigel Owens’ list of the top five most difficult players to deal with.
“To be honest I thought he was going to say something else – ‘difficult’ is a kind word to use for me I reckon,” joked Biggar.
Biggar is pleased with the ‘compliment’ from Nigel Owens
“I am actually quite disappointed that I am just in the top five – I wanted to be at the top of it. But I would say I am actually quite happy with that from a legend like Nige!”
Biggar will look to stake that claim further on Wednesday when he starts for the Lions against the Sharks – live on Sky Sports Action – and he believes that his hard work has paid off.
The Wales pivot believes 90 per cent of his rivals are more talented than him but says that helps him to be a better player.
“I stick by that, and I see that as a positive. The biggest compliment you can give me is that I work my socks off and do a lot of the things that perhaps require a lot of hard work. That is in my DNA,” he said.
This is Biggar’s second taste of the Lions having been part of the tour to New Zealand four years ago. However, he feels he is in a much better place now and well in the mix to be their first choice No 10.
He added: “Four years ago, it felt a little bit like I was on the outskirts of things, I was up against Owen (Farrell) and Johnny (Sexton) who were at the peak of their powers then. I resigned myself to playing well but being a little on the outskirts. Now it feels very much like I am in the mix.”
With Farrell and Finn Russell also contenders for this tour, Biggar explains that there are similarities between himself and Farrell, while there is plenty of hard work behind Russell’s maverick ways.
“Finn is a much more relaxed character but he spends a lot of time on the laptop looking at the opposition and looking at his own game. People who think he just turns up on a Saturday and does a few flicks and tricks is unfair on him, he puts a lot of hard graft in,” said Biggar.
Finn Russell is not all about flicks and tricks, says Biggar
“Owen and myself are very similar characters and we see the game quite similar.”
Biggar recently lost his mother and said the memory of her, plus the thought of his wife and young son will be the motivation driving him on in South Africa.
“When you become a dad your mindset changes. Being away from them for a long time is hard, so to go back with a Test series victory would be a huge thing – that would really make it worthwhile,” added Biggar.
Biggar with his son during the 2019 World Cup in Japan
“My mum passed away a few weeks ago and she was a huge influence on me, so to do that would be a huge thing.
“The best thing for me has to be able to come into training and playing because it forces you to take your mind off things
“It has been a really tough couple of months, but I know she would have wanted me to be out here and it would have been really special for her watching.
“To do it for her would be the world.”