New captain Dan Biggar ready to lead Wales’ Six Nations title defence

Alun Wyn Jones, Tipuric, North and Faletau among notable absentees from tournament squad

Dan Biggar: proud to be appointed Wales captain for this  season’s  Six Nations Championship. Photograph: Donall Farmer/PA

Dan Biggar: proud to be appointed Wales captain for this season’s Six Nations Championship. Photograph: Donall Farmer/PA

 

Dan Biggar wants it to be a case of business as usual after being appointed Wales captain for this season’s Six Nations Championship.

The Northampton outhalf will lead his country’s title defence, taking over from an injured Alun Wyn Jones.

Jones, the most-capped Test player in rugby union history, is among a number of high-profile absentees from Wales’ 36-man squad for the tournament.

The likes of Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North and Taulupe Faletau are all unavailable

And head coach Wayne Pivac has turned to Biggar, who is set to win his 96th cap in the Six Nations opener against Ireland on February 5th.

“I was really pleased that Wayne called me Sunday evening and offered it [captaincy] to me,” Biggar said. “I am really proud, but I’ve tried not to think about it too much in that sense.

“The first thing I said to Wayne when I accepted was that I didn’t want it to change who I am as a player, and Wayne was in full agreement of that as well.

“I didn’t want it to become all about me, or change me as a person with the lads or anything like that.”

Wales’ Six Nations group – one that includes three uncapped players in Dewi Lake, Jac Morgan and James Ratti – will assemble next Monday.

And Biggar added: “The first week will all be about drip-feeding information and getting boys up to speed. I think even more so for us as a team because of the situation we’ve had with lots of the boys not playing – Covid, injuries, things like that – and new faces in the squad, it is important that we get up to speed quite quickly.”

WALES (squad for Six Nations): Forwards (20): Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Gareth Thomas, Ryan Elias, Dewi Lake, Bradley Roberts, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard (Vice-Captain), Ben Carter, Seb Davies, Will Rowlands, Christ Tshiunza, Taine Basham, Ellis Jenkins, Jac Morgan, Ross Moriarty, James Ratti, Aaron Wainwright.

Backs (16): Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar (Captain), Rhys Priestland, Callum Sheedy, Jonathan Davies, Uilisi Halaholo, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams, Alex Cuthbert, Louis Rees-Zammit, Johnny McNicholl, Liam Williams.

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