September 21, 2021

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Why the moment will be “Biggar” for Dan in the first British & Irish Lions Test

3 min read

It will be a momentous occasion for Welsh flyhallf Dan Biggar when he takes to the field to earn his first British & Irish Lions Test cap against the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday.

Biggar is yet to earn a test cap for the Lions

Biggar, who was born in Morriston, Swansea has amassed all of 92 Test caps in the much coveted red rugby jersey of Wales but is yet to earn his maiden one for the even more coveted red rugby jersey of the British & Irish Lions, but that is set to change tonight as he runs onto the Cape Town Stadium with the number 10 jersey on his back.

The stocky pivot will have vivid memories of another Lions flyhalf and one of his biggest inspirations in the game, Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll who controlled proceedings when the Lions played in Biggar’s childhood hometown of Gowerton all the way back in 2001.

Now Biggar will have the honour of becoming just the seventh Welshman to wear the Lions number 10 jersey behind the likes of Cliff Morgan, David Watkins, Barry John, Phil Bennett, Gareth Davies and Stephen Jones. It will undoubtedly be a moment filled with satisfaction for Biggar who broke through the senior rugby ranks at the age of 19, in 2008 the same year he went on to make his debut for the Dragons.

Too much competition and quality ahead of him in 2017

He was already touted as a top teenage prodigy at the age of 16 and perhaps him being fast tracked into the Welsh side was not a surprise, but maybe how long he would take to get a call up to the Lions squad was. Biggar did manage to make the cut for the 2017 Lions tour but had to bide his time behind Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell. That meant ultimately meant he wouldn’t get a Test cap on that tour.

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Coming off an incredible 2020 Biggar had put himself in pole position to be the starting flyhalf for the Lions, especially with Farrell having spent a season in the second tier of English rugby. Finally getting the recognition he deserves, as well as eventually coming good on his his prodigious years   and getting that first Test cap as a starter, will not be the only satisfaction for the Ospreys man, however. 

Biggar now has an additional motivation

Besides the motivation to prove that he was always capable of being a starter, Biggar will have an added incentive to perform on Saturday.  Biggar lost his mother in May due to a battle with illness and he has made it no secret that he will be playing for her.

“It has been a challenging couple of weeks before the tour,” said Biggar today. “I’ve tried to focus everything on this week and putting myself in the best possible shape to be selected for Saturday” he continued as he spoke to journalists before the selection.

“If it happens, then brilliant. If it doesn’t, you have to dust yourself down and go again.  It’ll be very emotional either way – that she’s not around to watch if the selection goes the right way and, from the other side, if the selection doesn’t go the right way, you’ve got one less person who is close to you to lean on.

“It’ll be satisfying if I get it done in terms of selection. It’s been a difficult few months. I’m focusing now on hopefully the next few weeks being as successful as possible to make it worthwhile.”

Biggar has since got his selection, now it’s time for him to fulfil his side of the bargain for both himself and his mother. 

Kick off for the first Test between the Springboks and the Lions is set for 18h00 with the match being broadcasted on Supersport.