2021 Lions pick Dan Biggar lasts just 20 minutes of Saturday's Premiership outing with Northampton
Lions pick Dan Biggar lasted only 20 minutes of his first Northampton game since he was chosen ahead of Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton by Warren Gatland to be one of the three out-halves who will travel to take on South Africa in July.
Gatland had voiced concern on Thursday about the durability of Sexton to last the tour without shipping an injury. The first-choice No10 in five of the six Lions Tests in 2013 and 2017 had missed a number of matches recently with a concussion issue but Gatland insisted his decision to exclude the Irishman on this occasion had nothing to do with that.
Instead, it was to do with Sexton’s inability to play on three consecutive weekends as Gatland highlighted how he had to go back to 2018 to find the last three weekends that the veteran Leinster player had started three consecutive games in a No10 jersey.
That assessment resulted in Biggar, Finn Russell and Owen Farrell being the three out-halves chosen by the Lions for their three-Test, eight-match trip to South Africa, but it was ironic that within 50 hours of that selection being announced that Biggar lasted just a half of the first half of Northampton’s Gallagher Premiership game at home to Gloucester.
Biggar suffered an unfortunate clash of heads in a collision with Gloucester’s Billy Twelvetrees and while he walked off the pitch after treatment, he failed his head injury assessment in the dressing room and was unable to return to the action for Northampton.
? Atkinson's no-look
???? Carreras on his bike
? Rees-Zammit down the line
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 8, 2021
He instead settled for a seat in the stand to watch the closing stages of a first half that contained much better news regarding the other Lions pick who was on show at Franklin’s Gardens as Louis Rees-Zammit needed just 15 minutes to highlight why he was chosen for the tour, blazing his way in for the well-taken try that provided the foundation for Gloucester’s 10-0 interval lead. Rees-Zammit later went on to add his second try on 61 minutes, a score that prompted a dust-up between the two teams and resulted in yellow cards for Piers Francis and Santiago Carreras.
Biggar had told RugbyPass on Friday in the wake of his Lions selection: “It’s really nice to enjoy the moment and celebrate the call, but we have got a huge six weeks coming up now. I’m trying to park everything else now and give everything I have got for Northampton because there is so much to play for here before the end of the season.”
Dan Biggar credits English rugby for making him a potential Lions Test starter.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 7, 2021
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