Dan is still the man for Wales, say Ospreys
DAN Biggar is still the man to play No. 10 for Wales, reckon the Ospreys after the fly-half’s blistering start to the Pro12 season.
Rhys Priestland’s return from injury and Rhys Patchell’s emergence at the Blues have increased Warren Gatland’s options as he mulls over his squad for the autumn series.
But Biggar, who held the jersey during the Six Nations, has banked man-of-the-match awards from the Ospreys’ first two games of the campaign, in the process sending out a clear message that he isn’t going to give up his Wales role without a fight.
“I would see him in pole position to play No. 10 for Wales this autumn,” declared the region’s assistant coach Gruff Rees ahead of the game with Edinburgh in Swansea on Saturday evening.
“I haven’t watched much non-Ospreys rugby this term, but Dan was in pole position at the back end of last year and rightly so. He’s opened this season with two man-of-the-match performances, and history tells me he will keep consistency in his game going into the next block of matches.
“He’s worthy of the Welsh shirt.”
The former Swansea player will need to hold his form, though, if he is to convince Gatland to pick him ahead of Priestland, with the New Zealander having shown huge faith in the Scarlet since the last World Cup.
Patchell, the new kid on the block, has scored all the Blues’ points in their opening two games of the season.
But the Ospreys believe Biggar has improved significantly this term and has been setting the fly-half standard.
“He’s had the official man-of-the-match award against Treviso and against he was the players’ man of the match against Leinster,” said Rees.
“That says it all about his start to the season.
“His all-round game is consistent and in our first two matches we’ve seen total control in everything he’s tried to do.
“He controlled field position in Treviso and was one of our best ball carriers, knowing when to go himself and when to put the ball into Ashley Beck and Andrew Bishop’s hands.
“Against Leinster he played with more attacking intent and knew when he could have a crack at the defensive line.
“Don’t underestimate his defensive ability, either. He’s a gutsy boy and last weekend he was just throwing himself into tackles. He’s non-stop at the hub of the action but he also manages to retain a clear mind.”