Why Dan Biggar Has Been Biggest Success for Wales After 3 Games of Six Nations

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 5, 2015

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 15:  Dan Biggar of Wales looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Scotland and Wales at Murrayfield Stadium on February 15, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Wales' No. 10 jersey has provided a hotbed of debate in recent years, but Dan Biggar has performed tremendously to make the fly-half position his own during this year's Six Nations.

In fact, the Ospreys maestro has a substantial claim as Wales' best player thus far in the competition, especially considering the uncertainty over his credentials prior to competition's start.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 06:  Dan Biggar of Wales catches a high ball from Ben Youngs (R) of England during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and England at the Millennium Stadium on February 6, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Get
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Despite his stellar form at club level, talk of coach Warren Gatland giving Kiwi convert Gareth Anscombe his first Six Nations experience was fervent, but Biggar has done enough to stave off that particular threat.

Wales' improving Six Nations record has been in large part thanks to Biggar. After aiding Wales in their two victories since a damaging Week 1 defeat to England, BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer reported Biggar is in good shape to return against Ireland in the next round:

Bryn Palmer @BBCBrynPalmer

Wales prop Paul James out of rest of #sixnations with thumb fracture. Sam Warburton (knee) & Dan Biggar (hip) set to train later this week

It's just as well, too, after his try in Paris last weekend proved crucial in Wales' win over Les Bleus, his first in international colours.

Though not the most beautiful score, BBC Wales Sport presenter Gareth Rhys Owen swiftly indicated one aspect of the Stade de France score that was particularly alluring:

That humility seems to be one of Biggar's best attributes as he goes about his mission of nailing Wales' No. 10 down as his own in the build-up to this year's World Cup.

He may not yet have the prestige of Ireland's Johnny Sexton or the flair of England prodigy George Ford, but Biggar knows what he's good at, and after some years of trying, is finally putting it to great use.

Although Leigh Halfpenny takes a heap of pressure off the fly-half's shoulders thanks to his world-class kicking prowess, Biggar's boot has been a brilliant asset for the Welsh in recent weeks.

In the wake of the air collision that led to the red card and suspension of Scotland counterpart Finn Russell, the Western Mail's Simon Thomas noted just how imperious Biggar is through the airwaves:

Simon Thomas @simonrug

Rightly or wrongly, whoever gets off the ground first is now a protected species. That is why Biggar's fearlessness means he rules the sky.

It's true that Jamie Roberts has also been a leading back-line figure in the tournament, but Wales have come to expect elite quality from their standout centre; Biggar's pedigree was never as assured.

And yet Gatland will undoubtedly be pleased to see his standoff performing to specifications, with defence coach Shaun Edwards telling BBC Sport that while Biggar isn't the biggest, he's certainly among the baddest:

"Dan Biggar has got guts. It's a massive part of the modern game. Jamie is a very big man and has an advantage, but Biggs is fearless. He [Edwards' former Wigan team-mate Steve Hampson] wasn't a massive man, but he used to leap in the air just like Biggs."

It's difficult to recall a Welsh fixture during this year's Six Nations in which Biggar hasn't come off bruised and bloodied come full-time, but such is the nature of his endeavour.

As aforementioned, while lacking the flash and sizzle of certain peers, it's in Biggar's nature to graft more than the average No. 10, regularly getting stuck into the grubbier side of matters.

Although it doesn't apply to every No. 10 by any stretch of the imagination, fly-half is a position that tends to attract some of the bigger egos in rugby.

Biggar is without doubt one of the exceptions in that regard and while some might have made more of Russell's illegal tackle in Week 2, Christopher Jones of BBC Radio 5Live lauded the Welshman's professionalism:

Chris Jones BBC @chjones9

Dan Biggar's reaction to the Russell tackle was outstanding. Just got straight back up and walked away. Set a great example.

And that's what Biggar appears to have perfected coming back to the Welsh setup in these last few months; if Gatland wants something done, his current first-choice No. 10 is only too devoted to ensuring it's carried out that way.

Granted, it didn't ultimately go to plan against England, but Biggar has responded as well as any other in seeing to it that Wales' campaign gets back on track.

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28:  Dan Biggar (L)  of Wales after his sides 20-13 victory during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Wales at the Stade de France on February 28, 2015 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

It hasn't been easy sitting among a frustrated back line that, in all honesty, is still struggling to unlock its full potential with so many elite figures sitting among their ranks.

With Biggar calling the shots, though, Wales can be confident putting their faith in one showing so much improvement, but doing well to never step outside his own limitations.

All statistics come courtesy of ESPN Scrum.


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