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Why it's been Dan Biggar's 'toughest season' and...

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Why it's been Dan Biggar's 'toughest season' and his warning to Exeter Chiefs

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Dan Biggar insists Northampton enter their Gallagher Premiership play-off against Exeter with the sole intent of claiming a place in the final.

Biggar bristles at the suggestion Saints have nothing to lose in facing the team that finished the regular season eight points clear at the top of the table one week after they were thumped 40-21 by the same opposition.

They return to Sandy Park on Saturday knowing it will take a special performance to upset the Chiefs, but Biggar is convinced a spot in the Twickenham showpiece on June 1 is within reach.

“We’re in a semi-final, so we’ve got everything to lose,” the Wales fly-half said.

“The bookies, the media and most people in the country will back Exeter at home, but going there with nothing to lose is a little bit of a defeatist attitude.

“In our eyes we’ve got everything to lose because we want to be playing in Twickenham in the final. It’s a big prize to play for so it’s one heck of a lot to lose.

“The hard work is getting into the top four and then it’s a shootout. Exeter could have an off day and we could have a brilliant day. It’s up in the air.

“We’re aware we’re underdogs but what a challenge it is to get into the final. Can we go on and win it? Yes. Once you are in it, it is anybody’s game.”

Northampton edged rivals Harlequins to secure the final available play-off spot last weekend following a highly competitive season which has been a chaotic free-for-all beneath Exeter and Saracens.

“This league gives you nothing in terms of margin for error if you’re off your game, but that’s why it’s even more rewarding to be in that top four,” Biggar said.

“Now that we are in the play-offs, it’s a huge opportunity to play with freedom and to play some attractive rugby and see if we can pick up a result.”

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Biggar’s debut campaign in the Premiership has been a gruelling experience but he views Northampton’s progression into the semi-finals as vindication of his decision to leave the Ospreys last summer.

“This league has been by far the toughest season I’ve had in my whole career,” Biggar said.

“Every weekend you have to perform and if you don’t perform you get found out pretty quickly.

“I didn’t expect to sign up here and play every other week or be rested for three weeks.

“The system in Wales has allowed a lot of boys to do that this year, but I am not naive enough to think I could come up here and sit on the bench or sit in the stands and enjoy my Saturdays with a pint and watch the game.

“And you know what, I’ve loved playing week in, week out. You play in front of big crowds every week. You think when you’re not playing that you’re missing out.

“This week has had a different feel and this is one of the reasons why I signed.”

PA

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Why it's been Dan Biggar's 'toughest season' and his warning to Exeter Chiefs