Biggar proud but putting team first

After becoming the Ospreys all-time record points scorer last weekend, Dan Biggar insists that team performances comes before personal accolades every time.

The 22-year old reached a new regional high of 797 points when he kicked all of the Ospreys tally in the 9-9 draw with the Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening, nudging one point ahead of the previous highest points scorer James Hook, after going level with Gavin Henson on 788 in his last RaboDirect PRO12 outing, the win in Munster last month.

As he prepares for the first Heineken Cup game of the season, a Saturday afternoon sizzler against French giants Biarritz at the Liberty Stadium this weekend, Biggar was typically modest in his response to taking the record.

“Personal accolades mean nothing in the wider scheme of things” he said.

“Winning matches are more important, what you achieve as a team. Obviously, I’m very, very proud to have achieved it, there are a couple of big, big names on the list who had scored more points and were ahead of me on the list, so to pass them is quite an honour. To be ahead of such experienced players is fantastic but it’s not about me. If I’m scoring kicks, it’s only because of the work of the rest of the team, who’ve either scored tries or won penalties. That’s why I won’t get carried away or anything.

“Yes, I’m very, very proud of the record but it’s a real pity that the nine points on Saturday weren’t enough to win it for us on the night. It probably should have been.”

Director of Coaching, Scott Johnson, paid tribute to Biggar saying:

“Dan deserves real kudos for what he has achieved at such a young age. He’s a great kid, who epitomises everything we want from our players. He is hard working, diligent, and is always looking to learn and improve as an individual. He is proud to represent the cause, his home region, and always puts the team first. Long may he continue to serve the region.”

Biggar came through the Ospreys development pathway, having attended Gowerton Comprehensive School in Swansea, and played his club rugby at Gorseinon RFC before featuring in the Premiership in the white of Swansea RFC. He made his Ospreys debut as an 18-year old at the Millennium Stadium, coming off the bench late on in an EDF Energy Cup semi-final win over Saracens, establishing himself as first choice fly half early the following season. His 797 points have come in 83 appearances for the region, and he says that he’s hoping to wear the shirt on many more occasions:

“Hopefully I’ll be here a long time to come. This is my home region, where I’m happy playing rugby and I take pride in wearing the shirt. Hopefully, I’ll get plenty more games here, which will allow me to rack up the points, but like I’ve said, the most important points are the ones that win you games. The points you score when you lose games become irrelevant. As long as my points are helping the team towards winning games, that’s all that matters, be it three points a game or whatever.

“I’ve been very lucky to have been given the opportunity here at such a young age, the coaches have put their faith in me and I’m extremely grateful to them. It was up to me to grasp the opportunity, like it is for any young player coming into the team and hopefully I haven’t let anyone down for their faith. I think I’ve kicked pretty well over the last couple of years and if I continue to work hard then hopefully there’s plenty more to come.

“More importantly, hopefully we can get back to winning ways against Biarritz this weekend, and if we play well as a team then the chance will come to get some more points that will help our cause.

“We were all very disappointed at the weekend not to get the four points but there’s no better game to get you refocused a week later than the start of the Heineken Cup against one of the best team’s in Europe. We’re looking forward to it and to hopefully getting back to winning ways.”

Biggar was part of the team involved in an epic Heineken Cup quarter-final clash against Biarritz at a sun-drenched Estadio Anoeta in San Sebastian back in April 2010, kicking 13 points as the Ospreys outscored the twice Heineken Cup finalists by three tries to two but ultimately lost by a solitary point, 29-28.

“In terms of a spectacle, and playing somewhere different, it was superb, but there are bad memories for us, it didn’t go right for us” he recalled.

“We couldn’t have given any more that day and it was an agonising way to go out of the competition. We are looking forward to playing them again, and hopefully, the scoreline will be in our favour this time.

“In this competition if you don’t win your home games then you’re as good as gone. It’s a big game for us and we have to go for the win it’s that simple. To do that, it means everyone doing their jobs, being clinical and getting things right. If we do that, then anything is possible.”