Dan Biggar believes the potential return of former Wales assistant Rob Howley to rugby in the near future will be good for the game. The ex-assistant coach flew home in disgrace just before the start of the 2019 World Cup in Japan after it emerged he had been betting on matches in recent years.
The allegations resulted in Howley missing the finals in the Far East and then serving a ban which elapses on June 16. His absence meant he missed out on the farewell that was given to Warren Gatland and his backroom team after they finished fourth at the World Cup.
Despite having some weeks yet to go on the suspension, Howley has already been linked to a number of vacancies, something that Wales out-half Biggar believes is good as he feels the 49-year-old still have plenty to offer the sport.
“It has been well documented what Rob has gone through,” said Biggar on the latest edition of The Rugby Pod, the chart-topping podcast show fronted by Jim Hamilton and Andy Goode. “Rob never got the full appreciation, certainly in Wales, for what he achieved. He worked as hard as anyone in terms of our analysis, in terms of looking at ways we can improve at different things.
“His rugby mind is going to be beneficial to anyone who can sign him up, no doubt about that, and if he can get back sooner rather than later that would be great for him. It would be great to see him back, absolutely. Wherever he ends up if I’m still about in four years’ time or something he may just offer me a contract that can finish my career. I better keep him onside.”
Biggar, meanwhile, outlined his optimism for the Wayne Pivac era in Wales despite the New Zealander’s results so far showing just one win in four 2020 Guinness Six Nations outings.
“What Wayne has done is he has instilled real confidence in the lads to go out and play. The way we play is going to be different to the way we played with Warren but what we have got at the minute is we have got a team which, barring a couple of elder players, are going to be together for the next four years until the next World Cup cycle.
“Is it important to win every Test match you play? Yes, naturally. Is it important to play well? Of course, it is. But what will be allowed is a little bit of time to adjust to systems and adjust to the way Wayne likes to run sessions, what we are asked to do as players may be slightly different to what Warren asked us to do.
“It’s exciting, it’s really exciting times with the talent we have got to choose from. We weren’t a million miles away in the Six Nations. Ireland, we were well and truly beaten. France probably should have gone our way. And England, there wasn’t a huge amount in it even though they probably took their foot off the gas in that last 15 minutes.
“What is pleasing for us and the way we play is that it will create opportunities for us to score points… it was very similar to when I started the season with Northampton (in 2018). We won two out of the first six or seven games and what you could see was there were signs of us playing well, signs of the way we were playing were positive but we just needed a bit of time together.
“What you saw after Christmas at Northampton was the longer we had together the longer Chris (Boyd) and Sam (Vesty) got to implement their philosophies, their sessions and everything. By the time spring and the good weather came we were absolutely flying by that stage, made the playoffs and had a really good run.
“That will be the same with Wales with what Wayne and Stephen (Jones) want to implement. They will want to win but they appreciate it is going to take a bit of time.”
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