Dan Biggar insists there is plenty of ‘excitement’ and anticipation in Wales World Cup squad
Dan Biggar says there is “tons of excitement” in the camp as Wales prepare to launch their World Cup campaign.
Wales have been largely written off on the back of a dismal Six Nations tournament last season and a record that shows just three wins in 13 Tests.
But their World Cup statistics under head coach Warren Gatland are impressive, having reached semi-finals in 2011 and 2019, while they were 2015 quarter-finalists.
Their group is also far from straightforward, with England’s recent Twickenham conquerors Fiji awaiting Wales in Bordeaux on Sunday, while the pool also features Australia and Georgia.
“We know that there is pressure, but also we know that there are probably a lot of people out there writing us off as well and probably thinking there is not a huge amount of chance for us to go deep in the tournament,” Wales fly-half Biggar said.
“And for us, it is great that we can just shut ourselves off from everything outside our bubble and just concentrate on working hard, training hard, preparing as well as we can and putting in as good performances as we can.
“We’ve got a few boys who were rested and recovered from a few little niggles and tweaks, and we have got pretty much a full squad to choose from, not far off.
“So we are in a good place and there is tons of excitement. I think as soon as we arrived here, the levels of excitement just went through the roof.
“We are just really looking forward to this tournament starting. We have trained so hard, we’ve spoken so much about it, we’ve seen so much written about it and spoken about it.
“Things like this are so special, and there is plenty of confidence in the group.”
Biggar’s third World Cup will be his final one after he recently announced that he would be retiring from Test rugby after the tournament.
And he remains an integral part of Gatland’s plans, offering vast experience through a 109-cap international career.
“It was just important for me to be able to call time on my own terms, and more importantly, that the team can just concentrate on the rugby and performing and training and getting on with our business,” he added.
“The reason it (retirement announcement) was done before the tournament was because I didn’t want anything to be a distraction for the team.
“Obviously, next Sunday is a massive game for both sides, but I think everything we do between now – and everything we have done for the last few weeks, really – has been geared to something.
“I am just looking forward to really enjoying my last tournament.
“I’ve tried to just enjoy it as much with the lads as possible, and it does feel strange because it has been such a big part of my life for so long.”
Gatland is due to name his team for the Fiji clash on Friday, with the squad currently preparing at their base in Versailles, where day-time temperatures are more than 30 degrees.
The heat factor will then ramp up in Bordeaux, with 35 degrees forecast for later this week and 28 degrees when Wales and Fiji meet, even though the game kicks off at 2100 local time.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.