Biggar the man for Wales – Rees

Date published: September 19 2013

Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees believes Warren Gatland has no other option but to select Dan Biggar at fly-half in November.

Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees believes Warren Gatland has no other option but to select fly-half Dan Biggar as Wales' number 10 for the upcoming November internationals after his blistering start to the Pro12 season.

The 23-year-old firmly established himself as first choice for both club and country last term but faces stiff competition for the jersey when Gatland's side face South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia in quick succession.

Despite his back-to-back man-of the-match performances for the Ospreys in their opening two fixtures of the season, Biggar knows a starting berth is not guaranteed with Scarlets rival Rhys Priestland having made an encouraging return to fitness after Achilles troubles, Blues youngster Rhys Patchell continuing to excel and veteran James Hook steering the ship at Perpignan.

However, Rees is adamant Biggar is still the man to fill the pivotal fly-half role after a series of composed displays during the Six Nations.

“I would see him in pole position to play No. 10 for Wales this autumn,” Rees told This is South Wales.

“I haven't watched much non-Ospreys rugby this term, but Dan was in pole position at the back end of last year and rightly so. He's opened this season with two man-of-the-match performances, and history tells me he will keep consistency in his game going into the next block of matches.

“He's worthy of the Welsh shirt.”

Biggar has won 18 Welsh caps already and has scored 79 points but will need to maintain his early season form if he is to convince Gatland to give him the nod ahead of the more experienced Hook or Priestland, who the tactician has shown faith in before.

But Rees, who has overseen the majority of Biggar's developments, believe he has come along way as a player and offers a lot more than just goal-kicking.

“He's had the official man-of-the-match award against Treviso and against he was the players' man of the match against Leinster,” said Rees.

“That says it all about his start to the season.

“His all-round game is consistent and in our first two matches we've seen total control in everything he's tried to do.

“He controlled field position in Treviso and was one of our best ball carriers, knowing when to go himself and when to put the ball into Ashley Beck and Andrew Bishop's hands.

“Against Leinster he played with more attacking intent and knew when he could have a crack at the defensive line.

“Don't underestimate his defensive ability, either. He's a gutsy boy and last weekend he was just throwing himself into tackles. He's non-stop at the hub of the action but he also manages to retain a clear mind.”

The Ospreys welcome Edinburgh to Swansea on Saturday evening in the third round of Pro12 fixtures.