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Northampton give Biggar update nearly 5 weeks after Lions injury

By Liam Heagney

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Northampton boss Chris Boyd is expecting Dan Biggar to return to training with the Saints next Monday, shrugging off fears that the eleventh-minute injury which forced the out-half to exit the Lions Test series decider last month versus the Springboks was something more serious.  


Despite starting all three Tests in South Africa, Northampton talisman Biggar had his issues while on tour. He initially had what was described as a minor ankle sprain in the week prior to the final warm-up match versus the Stormers which he was rested for. He was then concussed in the first Test match and his quick recovery for the second Test was questioned by Progressive Rugby, the concussions awareness group. 

Biggar was then seen hobbling out of the Test series decider on August 7 after sustaining a painful shin injury early in the contest. There was no update issued at the time by the Lions about the extent of the injury but Northampton boss Boyd has now given an update nearly five weeks after that latest Biggar blow was sustained.  

“He has had a couple of weeks swanning around the Greek islands,” replied Boyd when asked by RugbyPass what the status was on the Gallagher Premiership club’s two Lions, Biggar and England forward Courtney Lawes, ahead of a campaign that will start for Northampton at home to Gloucester on September 18.  

“Courtney has been in Croatia for a couple of weeks so they are tanned up and well-rested. Those guys are both keen to get going again. Dan, for instance, is into training with us on Monday. Courtney is probably a week behind him, but they seem to be well rested from their South African experience and are almost ready to go.”

Earlier at the Saints media briefing ahead of the new 2021/22 Premiership season, Boyd had given his reaction to the newly proposed World 12s after getting asked how would he react if the likes of Biggar and Lawes skipped the final weeks of pre-season next year in order to play in a tournament aiming to involve 192 of the best men’s players in the world. “I don’t think those guys get a pre-season, do they? We never see them. I’m not sure what they do. I’m sure there is a massive amount of water to go under the bridge (regarding 12s).


“It’s always an interesting conundrum, players are represented by the players’ association who are always talking about the need for player rest and player welfare and controlling minutes and then all of a sudden something comes in that has got a nice little juicy financial carrot in it and suddenly some of those things might not be quite as important as they were before.

“Anything that can promote the game is fantastic. Look what the IPL has done to cricket. I remember a conversation when I was in South Africa between John Smit and Jacques Kallis where Jacques was saying to John the cricket had been the poor cousins to the rugby players from a financial perspective and then the IPL came in and all of a sudden it was not a bad gig being a cricketer if you could get a good IPL contract. How they fit it [World 12s] into a congested global season is going to be really interesting.

“If the players’ associations are genuinely concerned around the welfare of the players around game time etc… if you look at the New Zealand model of people taking sabbaticals, they are supposed to be for regeneration yet they are players who, good on them too, often go and earn some reasonable cash, usually in Japan. But that flies in the face of the argument that they have had. You wouldn’t want to deny the opportunity for the game to grow, you wouldn’t want to deny an opportunity for the players to earn some more money and you wouldn’t want to deny the clubs to be part of that. How that all works in a congested environment I am not 100 per cent sure.”


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