After being named Wales captain for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations campaign, Northampton Saints fly-half Dan Biggar is relishing the opportunity to lead his country on the international stage.
The 32-year-old was selected as skipper by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac on Tuesday, marking the first time in the Club’s history that a Saint has led out the Welsh national team.
Despite Biggar already making some 95 appearances in a Wales shirt to date, the British & Irish Lion admits it was a humbling experience to be awarded the honour.
“It’s been a strange couple of days after being tipped the wink on Monday night,” said Biggar.
“I think, admittedly, it’s a bit of a short-term solution with a lot of boys out injured and a lot of senior boys missing – but I’m still very, very proud to be asked and to be seen in that regard by the coaches.
“It’s something I’m looking forward to, I will need some help and guiding through things but I’m really proud.
“My wife’s been taking the mick out of me a little bit, when I ask her to do things around the house, she says things like ‘you wouldn’t have asked me that before you were captain’.
“I phoned my grandparents and told them on Monday night. My grandfather said that it has always been his dream for me to captain Wales.
“I think they were actually more excited about it than me; they phoned all the neighbours to tell them on Monday night before the squad was announced, so I was panicking a bit in case the news got out.
“But I’m also really proud for the Club as well. I know I’m obviously captaining Wales but I owe a huge amount to Saints – the work that Boydy and Sam [Vesty] and the Club have put into me is massive.
“It’s a very proud day for me and for my family but I’m also really proud to have done it representing Northampton as well.”Dan Biggar
Biggar is well known as a formidable character on the field both in a Saints and Wales shirt, but the fly-half insists he won’t be making too many changes to his style of play when he leads Wales against Ireland to open their campaign.
He said: “For me, it’s a title and I’m obviously proud but I said to Wayne [Pivac] when I accepted it that I didn’t want to do it if it was going to change who I am as a player and a person around the place so, for me, the main thing is that I stay true to that.
“Other than having the title it will be very much business as usual, it won’t be too much of a change apart from having the word captain next to my name. I hope that I can carry on leading the team in the same way I lead the other teams that I have played in. I’m trying not to look at it too differently to that.”
🏴Dan Biggar, Cap No #1063, 95 International Caps & now your 𝗪𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻.— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) January 19, 2022
● Hear from your Wales Captain for the 2022 #GuinnessSixNations on getting the call from Wayne Pivac and how he's approaching the next few weeks in camp. pic.twitter.com/Ut9Tcr7g8g
For Biggar it will be a tournament of milestones, with his first international captaincy coupling a possible 100th Wales cap if he features in all five of the tournament’s matches – with the Saints No. 10 set to hit a century of outings in the red jersey in the competition finale against France.
With fellow Saint Courtney Lawes also captaining his country in the Autumn, the prospect of a pair of Saints leading the sides for England vs Wales at Twickenham would not only create history but be something Biggar would relish.
“Mark Darbon [Saints’ Chief Executive] actually messaged me to say congratulations and he mentioned that that would be something amazing for the Club,” added Biggar.
“I’m obviously not sure what the situation is with Owen Farrell’s fitness but I’m sure Courtney would be next in line if Owen doesn’t come through, so [to lead the teams out] would be something pretty special to do with Courts.”