WALES v SAMOA (Tonight, KO 7.30)
DAN Biggar has been told to make a statement by taking his regional form onto the international stage – but the fly-half admits there will be changes to his tried and trusted routine.
The 23-year-old wins his 11th cap in Cardiff this evening after catching the eye with the Ospreys at the end of last season and the start of the current campaign.
But he will be denied the chance to show off one of the best facets of his game – goalkicking. Full-back Leigh Halfpenny will be lining up the shots at the sticks and Biggar admits that will be strange.
“It will take a bit of getting used to because goalkicking is a big part of my game and something that I am used to doing week in, week out,” he said.
“I suppose in one way it will take a little bit of pressure off but also you are so used to your routine of preparing for a kick and going from a place kick to a tackle.
“It will be different but I’ve been practising because if Leigh picks up an injury then I will step up. But it will be a bit strange not doing it.”
Biggar was not involved in the defeat to Argentina but if he goes well against Samoa he will have every chance of ousting the off colour Rhys Priestland for next week’s clash with New Zealand.
He said: “To be given an opportunity tonight is something that I will treasure and try and make the most of so that I push for a starting place the following week.
“We’ve got to keep hold of the ball a lot better than we did against Argentina – it’s impossible to put teams under pressure if you don’t do that.
“We are not going out there to play sevens rugby, we need to keep it tight to start off with and open up from there.
“We will be looking to dominate physically and avoid giving them easy targets.
“We need to keep the ball, make them tackle and ask questions of their defence phase after phase because if you let Samoa get their momentum they are extremely dangerous.”