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Not a total write off that Biggar starts first Lions test at fly-half

| 21.03.2013

Dan Biggar was certainly one of the success stories of the Six Nations and the fact that he was on the 15-man shortlist to be named player of the tournament is a reflection as to the calibre of his displays for Wales at fly-half.

His late drop goal in the victory over England to confirm Wales as tournament winners could be his coming of age moment and it would be somewhat harsh now if his productive Six Nations was not rewarded with a spot on the Lions plane to Australia.

Three fly-halves are likely to be on the plane, with Ireland’s Jonny Sexton, Owen Farrell and Biggar seemingly in the driving seat at present, ahead of the likes of Toby Flood, Rhys Priestland or even Jonny Wilkinson.

Biggar has stepped into the boots of Priestland impressively for Wales and despite his inexperience, 20/1 is a big price that he starts at fly-half in the first test against Australia for the Lions.

Sexton is unsurprisingly the 1/3 favourite to start in this role, but there are doubts over his fitness after damaging a tendon in his left foot, following a previous hamstring injury.

It is unlikely that Sexton will be fully recovered by the time that Warren Gatland announces his Lions party and there is ample time between now and then for further setbacks to hinder his recovery.

Farrell (3/1 to start first test) would be the logical replacement, but with Welsh full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicking so well in the Six Nations, Gatland would not be pressurised to pick Farrell solely for his coolness from the tee.

Given that Farrell is also not the most attacking with ball in hand, it may pay for Gatland to take a punt on Biggar.

His kicking from hand was solid in the Six Nations and the half-back partnership he has developed with Welsh scrum half Mike Phillips could bring an added edge to the Lions’ armoury.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.