Former Wales captain Dan Biggar has said that this Guinness Six Nations is the “perfect opportunity” for head coach Warren Gatland to trial out some inexperienced players as they start building towards the 2027 World
No team has seen such a dramatic departure from their veteran mainstays over the last 12 months as Wales. Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny, both centurions, have also hung up their international boots following Wales’ quarterfinal exit in France, while the most capped player in Test history, Alun Wyn Jones, has retired before the World Cup alongside Justin Tipuric.
Gatland has had the mother lode of experience snatched from him in recent months, since another centurion, Taulupe Faletau, is still recovering from a broken arm and is not part of the retiring contingent.Gatland may not have much choice but to pay attention to what his former fly-half Biggar said on BBC 5 Live Sport’s “The 2024 Guest List” show recently. Biggar stated that there are “a lot of talented Welsh youngsters playing in the regions” that Gatland should try out at the start of this World Cup cycle, since captain Jac Morgan is expected to miss the Championship due to knee surgery.”From a Welsh perspective,” the fly-half for Toulon stated to Mark Chapman during the broadcast. We need to learn a little bit more about the guys at this point. Because there are many players who are just starting out in their careers and may only have a few caps, and there are also many players who are toward the conclusion of their careers and have a significant amount of caps. From a Welsh perspective, then, it is challenging to predict what will be used on the field because to the large number of unknown combinations and players who will be playing for the first time in their careers.
I therefore cannot predict how the Six Nations will play out, but I do think that there are many talented young Welsh players currently playing in the regions, and if you are going to give any youth and inexperience a chance, this is the ideal time to do so as it is the beginning of a four-year cycle prior to the World Cup, allowing you to establish the foundation for what you want to build over the next three and a half yearsNot only does Wales lack experience following the World Cup, but Biggar’s longtime No. 10 opponents Johnny Sexton, Owen Farrell, and Romain Ntamack are also expected to miss the match for different reasons. The 112-cap Wales international claims that it will be extremely difficult to predict the outcome of this Championship because of this..He stated, “I honestly couldn’t tell you how the Six Nations is going to go.” “For the first time in four or five years, France will be without [Antoine] Dupont and [Romain] Ntamack. Courtney Lawes and Owen Farrell will also be absent for England. For the first time in what seems like forever, Ireland will not have Johnny Sexton. How will they handle this? Many players have retired or are unavailable for the Six Nations, as seen from a Welsh perspective
“I guess I have no idea how any team is going to react. Scotland has undoubtedly had the most stable World Cup and the most disappointing overall, if you look at it. Thus, it’s an extremely difficult one.
Biggar emphasized that the Six Nations is a “momentum tournament,” even if he was hesitant to predict who will win the competition. Biggar, who emphasised how much simpler the Six Nations gets when a side wins their early matches, spoke from experience.
The best example of this is Wales’ 2019 Grand Slam victory; Biggar’s team was far from impressive against France in their opening game, but they recovered a 16-0 halftime deficit at the Stade de France to win and gained momentum from there.
“The Six Nations is such a momentum tournament where it’s such an easier tournament if you win your first couple of games,” he stated. You have this week off to prepare for your upcoming match. On the other hand, if you lose your first two, you’ll be under a lot of pressure to win your next game and your next game, and before you know it, you may end yourself at the bottom, fourth, or fifth place in the standings.
It’s a tournament with so much momentum, unlike any other I’ve participated in, so getting off to a strong start is crucial.
On February 3, Wales plays Scotland at the Principality Stadium to begin their Six Nations season.