Dan Biggar: Northampton move 'blow to Pro14 and Ospreys' - Davies

Dan Biggar
Dan Biggar made his Wales debut against Canada in Cardiff in 2008

Wales fly-half great Jonathan Davies says Dan Biggar's decision to join Northampton at the end of 2017-18 is a blow to the Pro14 and Ospreys, but that the national team could benefit.

Biggar has decided not to take up the option of a further year at Ospreys, but hopes to continue with Wales.

"It might benefit Wales. Some players have gone away and become better players and some haven't," Davies said.

"It's a blow for the Pro14 and the region, but these things crop up."

The Pro14 has expanded from 12 to 14 teams with the inclusion of South African sides Southern Kings and Cheetahs as tournament chiefs seek to raise more cash and spread its influence.

Fly-half Biggar made his Ospreys debut in March 2008 against Saracens and played once more for the Swansea-based team that season, before going on to play more than 200 games for them.

Davies added: "He's been there for 10 years - he's been one of their key players and he controls the game very well.

"But he's given them a lot of service. He's given everything for the region.

"He's one of their big players, but the one thing about the Ospreys is they've developed players after most of the superstars have gone and left them and they've developed someone else."

Dan Biggar and Sam Davies
Dan Biggar and Sam Davies are Wales and Ospreys rivals

Davies, a former dual-code international, says Biggar's decision gives his rival, Sam Davies, the chance to make Ospreys' 10 jersey his own.

"It's a great opportunity now for Sam Davies to step up," said Davies.

"He's got James Hook there as well to step in to help him out, so I'm sure that another youngster will be given the opportunity.

"You've got to fill that void, but that's part of professional sport, I'm afraid."

Davies believes playing regularly in front of big crowds is among the incentives for Biggar's move.

"I'm sure he looks at the Aviva Premiership and sees the full houses every week and maybe as a player you want to be running out in front of packed houses," Davies said.

"That's the one thing that the Pro14 are working on now, is trying to get people through the turnstiles."

Davies added: "Knowing Dan's character and his determination and drive he'll want to first and foremost get his place in Northampton.

"They had 50 points put on them last week by Saracens so they've got to buck up their ideas a little bit."

Analysis from Scrum V presenter Ross Harries:

"There's no doubt that Dan Biggar's departure will leave a big hole in the Ospreys squad. His stock rose considerably on the recent Lions tour and there are few fly-halves in Europe as adept at controlling a game.

"But the Ospreys fly-half cupboard remains well stocked. Wales international Sam Davies has proved an able deputy - starting more games than his rival last season - and will relish his elevation to first choice. The returning James Hook will also contest for the 10 jersey, and help to mentor Luke Price.

"From a Wales perspective, Biggar will have to rely on a wild-card selection to be included in head coach Warren Gatland's squad.

"Gatland will have four to choose from next season, which means one of Biggar, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams, Taulupe Faletau or George North would miss out."

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