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'His game is very suited to playing in South Africa and I would certainly pick him'

By PA

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Chris Boyd paid tribute to his Wales outside-half Dan Biggar who played the final 10 minutes on one leg to help Northampton win their third East Midlands derby at Welford Road in the last four seasons.

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Biggar, playing his final match before the Lions select their squad for the summer tour to South Africa, was twice roughed up by Leicester’s second row Harry Wells and was left hobbling in the closing stages after running into burly Tigers winger Nemani Nadolo.

It did not prevent him from preserving his side’s five-point lead with a tap tackle on Leicester’s No 8 Jasper Wiese to leave Boyd, Northampton’s director of rugby, enthusing.

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Dan Biggar talks to All Access:
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Dan Biggar talks to All Access:

“If you were looking for a guy to take into the trenches with you, Dan would be the first choice,” Boyd said.

“I was delighted for him that we held on to win and I would expect him to be named in the Lions squad. His game is very suited to playing in South Africa and I would certainly pick him.

“There was no major issue with his leg: he was cleared out late a couple of times and was tender by the end.”

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While Boyd was delighted to have secured bragging rights for Northampton’s supporters, he said they should not have been hanging on at the end having been 23-10 ahead five minutes into the second-half.

“We were gutsy at the end when we were down to 14 men after a dubious yellow card and Dan was on one leg, but we should have taken opportunities to kill the game off,” he added.

“That said, brave performances are what seasons are made of.”

Northampton had to make three changes before the kick-off after Ollie Sleightholme, Ehren Painter and Teimana Harrison failed late fitness tests and lost their England squad scrum-half Alex Mitchell and centre Piers Francis to first-half injuries.

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Boyd revealed that Nick Isiekwe, who is on loan from Saracens, had played his final match for the club having had surgery in the week.

Leicester were left cursing yellow cards either side of the interval to Matt Scott and Harry Wells. They already had the worst disciplinary record in the Premiership this season and their captain Tom Youngs said it had to improve.

“It makes it difficult when you go down to 14 men and it is happening too often,” said Youngs. “We cannot afford to keep conceding yellow cards and we have to learn from them. What also cost us was our failure to take a number of opportunities.

“We made plenty of entries into their 22 but we did not execute well enough. It left us feeling disappointed and frustrated. It is always hard to take when you lose to your rivals.”

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'His game is very suited to playing in South Africa and I would certainly pick him'

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