Dan Biggar: Wales fly-half says title tilt vindicates Northampton move
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar says playing in big club knockout games was among the major reasons he joined Northampton from Ospreys.
Northampton travel to face Exeter in the Premiership play-off semi-final on Saturday.
Biggar, 29, views Saints reaching the play-offs as vindication of his decision to leave the Ospreys last summer.
"This league has been by far the toughest season I've had," said Biggar.
His debut campaign in the Premiership has been a gruelling experience, but the 2019 Grand Slam winner and 2017 British and Irish Lions tourist has relished the experience.
"Every weekend you have to perform, and if you don't perform you get found out pretty quickly," said Biggar.
"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."
Northampton edged rivals Harlequins to secure the final available play-off spot last weekend, despite losing to Exeter 40-21.
Saints 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 final on 1 June is within reach.
"We're in a semi-final, so we've got everything to lose," said Biggar.
"The bookies, the media and most people in the country will back Exeter at home, but going there with nothing to lose is a defeatist attitude.
'Everything to lose'
"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.
"We're aware we're underdogs, but what a challenge it is to get into the final.
"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.
"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."