Lions 2013: Shaun Edwards shocked by apathy over Biggar

Dan Biggar in action for Wales against Italy

JAPAN V WALES

Venues:
Hanazono Stadium, Osaka & Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, Tokyo
Dates:
Saturdays 8 & 15 June, 2013
Kick-offs:
06:00 BST
Coverage - First-Test:
(Osaka) - Live on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online
Coverage - Second Test :
(Tokyo) - Live on S4C, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales & BBC online

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards says he is surprised Dan Biggar's omission from the Lions tour of Australia has not sparked more media comment.

Fly half Biggar was the only Wales player who started in the Six Nations decider against England in March not to be selected for the tour.

"I thought he [Biggar] was absolutely outstanding [in the Six Nations]," said Edwards.

The Ospreys number 10 will take part in Wales' two-Test tour of Japan.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland selected Ireland's Jonathan Sexton and England's Owen Farrell as fly-halves for the tour, which starts on Saturday with a match against the Barbarians in Hong Kong.

Veteran Jonny Wilkinson, who retired from England duty in 2011, was even mentioned ahead of Biggar.

Gatland did selected 15 Welshman and even included injured flanker Dan Lydiate, who missed Wales' Six Nations campaign.

The Ospreys fly-half, 23, became Wales first-choice fly-half, with Rhys Priestland sidelined with injury, during the Six Nations.

"It just seems that, and I have mentioned this to a couple of people, the media don't really bring his name up as much as I think it deserves to be, but that's not my job and that's for the Lions," said Edwards.

"All I can say is that, I spoke to Dan when he came into camp and told him he was going to be a leader of this team.

"He is not necessarily our captain, but he is the leader at the number 10 and as one of our most experienced players in our backline.

"These players are going to be looking up to him and he is going to have to set the example for everybody else to follow."

The Wales defence coach, who helped Wales win two Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012 and the Six Nations titles in 2013, finds himself in a similar position to Biggar.

Edwards missed out on the Lions defence coach role to England's Andy Farrell, while Gatland has taken his fellow Welsh coaching team of Rob Howley and Neil Jenkins on the Lions tour.

Edwards believes Biggar does not get the credit he deserves for his form and influence on Wales' Six Nations title success in 2013.

"I just think he has developed massively," said Edwards.

"From where he was 12 months ago to where he is now, just shows you how important getting the game time in the Autumn series is.

"Rob Howley stuck with him through the Six Nations, when things went wrong against Ireland, but we stuck with him and he has repaid us massively.

"As the tournament went on he just became more and more assured.

"He has always been a very intelligent player, who understands the tactics of the game, and I thought he led the team so well."

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