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Biggar determined Wales career will not end after Argentina quarter-final

13 Oct 2023 4 minute read
Wales’ Dan Biggar (right). Photo  Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar will banish any thoughts of Test rugby retirement when he lines up in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Argentina.

The 33-year-old wins his 112th cap at Stade Velodrome – and it will be a final Wales appearance if Argentina triumph.

Biggar announced in August that he will step away from the international arena he has graced for the past 15 years, post-World Cup.

But Wales have their sights set on going deep into the tournament and he has no intention of reaching journey’s end just yet.

Huge motivation

“For me, I am not thinking about anything, I don’t want this to be my last day as a rugby player for Wales. Hopefully, it will be the case I have another two weeks,” Biggar said.

“For those of us who will be finishing after the World Cup there will be a bit of extra pressure, but it is also a huge motivation.

“I definitely don’t want my last day as a Welsh rugby player to be losing a quarter-final.

“We have worked as hard as we possibly can all week, doing everything we possibly can as a team and individuals to make sure we go out on a high rather than a disappointing end.”

Wales have reached a fourth successive World Cup quarter-final, with Biggar returning to action after recovering from a pectoral muscle strain suffered early in the record 40-6 victory over Australia three weeks ago.

Biggar went off after just 12 minutes, and he added: “Initially, I thought it was going to be really difficult, but we have managed to heal up okay.

“Basically, I have just been with the physios pretty much every day for the last two-and-a-half weeks and getting myself back for this. It was one which I really didn’t want to miss.

“I am just really lucky, I suppose, lucky and grateful to be preparing for a game tomorrow. It was one of those where I thought it would have been such a shame to have ended it that way.

“It is important to say it’s not about myself or anybody else leaving the team tomorrow, it is about making sure that we stay on because the belief and the confidence we’ve got in the group now is really high.”

Game management

Biggar’s game management and goalkicking will see him have a key role to play against the Pumas when Wales target a third semi-final in the last four World Cups.

“We have spoken all week about not being ready to go home yet,” he said.

“It is funny how time changes because probably three, four or five months ago if somebody had said we were going to win our pool and be in a really strong position to get to a semi-final, people would have thought you were talking absolute madness.

“So it just shows how much confidence and belief we have had as a group as the weeks have gone by and spent more time together.

“We noticed as the weeks have gone on that the support for us from back home has grown and grown, and the belief has grown.

“We are hoping to have a load of Welsh fans in here (Stade Velodrome) tomorrow. Loads of families and friends are coming to the game – I’ve got 13 people staying in my house in Toulon!

“We know we are playing a very, very tough team tomorrow.

“They have probably got a little bit more to come than what they’ve shown in the pool stages, we probably know that they are going to be right up for this tomorrow and we know how difficult it is going to be.

“I think a lot of people in Wales just think we’ve got to turn up tomorrow to get the job done. We have spoken all week about how that is the absolute opposite of what our mindset is.

“We are going to have to play a lot better than probably what we have done in the pool stages to win. Hopefully we can deliver a really good performance and make this World Cup even more special than it already has been.”

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