Dan Biggar brushes off criticism ahead of 2019 World Cup

‘I actually quite enjoy those things as it gives me motivation’: Dan Biggar brushes off criticism as he insists he’s ‘not bothered’ by Welsh legend JJ Williams’ World Cup jibe

  • Dan Biggar is tired of caring about what everyone in Wales thinks of him
  • Biggar has been savagely criticised for the last decade but he isn’t bothered
  • JJ Williams claimed Wales would not win the World Cup with Biggar at fly-half 

Dan Biggar is tired of caring what everyone in Wales thinks of him.

For the last decade he has been savagely criticised as the No 10 – and he has had enough.

Earlier this summer it was the turn of 1970s legend JJ Williams to question him, saying Wales would not win the World Cup with Biggar at fly-half.

Dan Biggar is tired of caring about what everyone in Wales thinks of him ahead of World Cup

It was a comment the playmaker referenced when he was subsequently named man-of-the-match in the warm-up win over England.

And a week out from Wales’ first match against Georgia at the tournament Biggar hit back at his critics.

‘I have had it my whole career,’ he said.

‘I think there’s going to be another ex-player calling for someone from Penclawdd to play No 10 next week!

‘It really doesn’t bother me. I actually quite enjoy those things as it gives me motivation.

‘It’s less about me, I couldn’t care less what he said about me, it was more the negative comment about the team after one difficult afternoon.

JJ Williams (right) claimed Wales would not triumph in Japan with Biggar leading the attack

‘I’m competitive. I don’t mind that side of it, it’s part and parcel of the job. If you’re not comfortable with that and in the position I play in this country then you’re probably in the wrong job!

‘Early on it was tough because it affected me and my family and friends. You don’t know how to take it because all of a sudden you’ve come from absolutely nowhere to being in the public eye and being criticised.

‘You’re never going to please everyone but I’m happy in myself and in life and the experience I’ve had playing in this shirt for nearly 10 years has served me very, very well.

‘Certainly in the last few years since I’ve had a little boy and with my family, they’re the most important thing to me anyway.

‘If I have a bad game on a Saturday and you guys maybe write something negative or I get negative comments, then I just go home to my little boy and it doesn’t really matter.

‘I’m not going to tell anyone else what to do because they have to do their own thing, but for me it moving to Northampton has been the best thing I’ve done.

Biggar was named man-of-the-match in the warm-up win over England in August

‘Getting outside of the goldfish bowl – even though Northampton is a rugby-mad town – it’s quite nice to be outside the bubble there instead of Wales where rugby is all year round.’ Biggar goes to the World Cup as Wales’ first-choice No 10, after Gareth Anscombe was ruled out with a knee injury.

He was a hero of the 2015 World Cup when he kicked Wales to a famous victory over England, and became a cult figure for his ‘Biggarena’ routine before taking a kick at goal.

And while he will not revive that ritualistic dance, he firmly believes he has vastly improved as a player in four years – and Wales can win the World Cup with him running the show.

‘I hope so!’ he said.

‘That’s the plan. It could be Rhys Patchell at 10! If we can get out of the pool the other seven teams in the quarter finals will not want to play us.

‘I feel I’m a better player and that the move to Northampton has helped me especially with the brand of rugby we are playing up there.

‘I think that’s made me a better player. Hopefully that’s benefitted myself and Wales.

Gareth Anscombe’s knee injury means Biggar goes to Japan as Wales’ first-choice No 10

‘I’ve always stuck to what I’ve done well in my career. I’ve been a competitor, kicked well, and been strong defensively.

‘I’ve tried to work on everything else and hopefully we can get to the World Cup, score some tries, and play some running rugby as well.’ Biggar thinks Warren Gatland has given Wales the belief they can win the World Cup in Japan.

‘What Warren has done since he has been here is instil a belief more than anything,’ he said.

‘When we go into games against England, or Australia, South Africa, we are always going with the mindset that we are going to win, whereas before it was more in hope rather than expectation.

‘We are fully aware we are up against some big teams, just in our pool let alone the latter stages of the tournament. It’s about making sure the belief is right.’

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