We’ll give France a Biggar worry insists fly half Dan
WALES are confident they can atone for their bitterly disappointing opening Six Nations defeat to Ireland with a win over France, according to Dan Biggar.
The fly half is optimistic the 3-1 outsiders can spring a surprise victory in Paris this weekend and halt a woeful eight-match losing streak.
Wales are without a meaningful Test victory for nearly a year since they clinched the Grand Slam against France on March 17, 2012.
Biggar made his Six Nations debut in last Saturday’s 30-22 defeat to Ireland with a mixed performance at the Millennium Stadium.
It was his first half gaffe, a laboured attempted clearance kick charged down by hooker Rory Best, that led to the visitors’ second try through Cian Healy.
He did recover well and played competently as Wales clawed their way back from 30-3 down early in the second half to give the Irish a scare in the final half an hour.
“The great thing about sport is you have a chance to put things right the following week,” the Ospreys outside half said ahead of tomorrow night’s showdown.
“It is something which gives us a chance of redemption and to put some pride back into the jersey.
“We are under no illusions how hard it is going to be and a big effort to go out there and win because not many people do.”
Biggar will win his 13th cap tomorrow after again being preferred by caretaker boss Robert Howley to James Hook who has to be content with a place on the bench.
The 23-year-old stressed Wales hold France, who suffered a shock 23-18 defeat to Italy in Rome last week, in high regard but not in awe.
“We are going to go there with respect but no fear,” Biggar said.
“They are coming off a surprise loss and they have a point to prove.
“We will stick with a game plan that we feel can beat France. You know what the French crowd are like and if we can score early we can get on top. The plan is not to start slowly like we did last week.”
His opposite number tomorrow Freddie Michalak had an uncomfortable afternoon at the Stadio Olimpico last Sunday.
France coach Philippe Saint-André has kept the faith in the mercurial talent, currently playing at scrum half for his club Toulon, for the clash with Wales.
Biggar revealed the plan is to make life very uncomfortable for him this weekend “Michalak has been around a while and has the whole skill set,” he said.
“He is a flair player and a nightmare to analyse because you don’t know what is coming next.
“Behind a big old pack, if we allow them to get on the front foot, he will have a great day.
“Our plan is to put him under more pressure than other sides have done and make life more difficult.”
He also joked about the prospect of bumping into giant centre Mathieu Bastareaud again.
The 6ft and 17st 9lb Toulon midfield player came on during last week’s defeat to Italy but will make his first international start in three years when he faces Wales to win his 11th cap.
“Would you like him running down your channel?,” Biggar said. “I played against him at Under-20 level in the World Cup and we know what is coming. I think he was the only player without a scratch on him after that semi-final brawl.”
Biggar added: “He is extremely good at what he does in getting over the gain line because he is powerful and strong.
“If we don’t stop him early he will make life difficult for us. We have to pay him certain attention but we have two big centres ourselves.”
Biggar also defended he and his fellow backs who have come under fire after butchering some fine chances against Ireland last week despite scoring three tries.
Centre Jonathan Davies in particular has been the subject of much vitriol after some very poor handling.
“The camp is very strong and together,” Biggar said.
“You are always going to get criticism.
“You can play the perfect game but the Welsh public will find fault with it.
“Yes there was some handling errors and yes there was some two on ones that we did not take but it is something we have to get better at.
“We are harsh on ourselves as a group but not laying into each other and letting everyone have it.
“It is about encouraging and ultimately we want to do better. There is extra work going on our skills i.
“But Jonathan Davies will never throw two passes into touch again. He is a superb player and it was just one of those days.”