'The mindset is absolutely the same as if we were playing England again' - Dan Biggar
Dan Biggar says Wales’ mindset is “absolutely the same” for their Rome appointment with Italy on Saturday as if they were facing England.
Wales have arrived in the Eternal City as red-hot favourites to complete a fourth successive victory in this season’s Guinness Six Nations and move one win away from securing title and Grand Slam glory.
The Triple Crown is already in Wales’ trophy cabinet following a 40-24 success against England last month, and fly-half Biggar believes there can be no change of mental approach.
“They (Italy) have obviously not been getting results – that is well-documented – but they are a team with a nine and 10 who bring a lot of tempo to the game,” Biggar said.
“They are an attacking team with a threat, and if we think we are going out to Italy to rock up in the sunshine and get an easy job done, then we will be in for a wake-up call.
“The mindset is absolutely the same as if we were playing England again.
“We’ve probably had a little bit of luck in the first three games, but it is one of those things where if you are on the right side of the luck, you probably don’t care.
“We are pleased to be where we are with a game against Italy to come, but the focus this week has really been on having the same mindset we had for England at home.”
Biggar played a central role in England’s downfall, notably his penalty cross-kick to the corner that created wing Josh Adams’ controversial try.
Referee Pascal Gauzere had told visiting skipper Owen Farrell to speak with his players following a number of early indiscretions, and with England still seemingly preparing to re-set themselves, Gauzere restarted the clock.
Biggar added: “It’s one of those where if you were wearing a white shirt or support them, you were probably annoyed. If you were wearing a red shirt, you would probably not have seen anything wrong with it.
“The one thing I would say on it is when you look at the overhead image, England’s left edge on (wing) Jonny May’s side was all in position and ready to go.
“If I had kicked it to Jonny’s side, he had marked it and kicked it back 90 metres, would England be asking ‘Oh, we are all set now, you can take the kick at goal now?’ That’s the issue I would have.
“Neil Jenkins (Wales assistant coach) has always told us to make sure we are alive for any moment. It was better for us to take seven (points) than three in that situation.”
It was another strange incident during a Six Nations like no other, with every game taking place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic and all squads being in bio-secure bubbles at their training bases.
There is still time for occasional treats in the Wales camp, though, courtesy of cookies baked by Biggar’s wife Alex.
“Somehow, they (cookies) have managed to get into the team room for our days off! The boys are loving them,” Biggar said.
“It’s the highlight of the week where we sit down in the conservatory of the hotel and have a coffee and a cake.
“We sit there for two or three hours and pretty much put the world to rights. We moan about everything!
“We also have to be up-front and say we are very lucky to be able to socialise and sit down and have dinner together, while a lot of other people in the country and the world can’t do that at the moment.”
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