Dan Biggar has admitted that Wales are trying to “block out” the critique aimed at their team by former Irish players in the media.
Wales have come under fire in the last couple of days following their team announcement for their Six Nations opener with Ireland on Sunday.
The selection of Dan Lydiate, who last played for Wales more than two years ago, has been the subject of much discussion, with former Ireland international Stephen Ferris telling RTE that he is past his best.
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“I’m not sure about Dan Lydiate, to be honest, I think his best years are behind him and I wouldn’t have any bother saying that to his face. He’s been an exceptional player for Wales and for the Lions over the years.
“Yes he does offer something different, but running around, diving at people’s feet will only get you so far,” Ferris said.
‘It’s great to have him back’
Biggar, who will start at 10 for Wales on Sunday, told WalesOnline that Lydiate is arguably the “form player in Wales” after his displays for the Ospreys in recent months.
“I’ve seen a few bits and pieces from one or two people saying that his form isn’t particularly good. If he’d been watching some of the games this year he may have changed his opinions.
“Everyone’s always had an issue about not picking players on form. But if you’re going to pick someone on form, Lyds is probably the form player in Wales in the four regions over the last six months.
“It’s great to have him back,” Biggar insisted.
‘We’re trying to block all that out’
Wales are coming off the back of a disappointing 2020, having won just three of their 10 test matches last year.
While their recent poor form has been the topic of discussion in many corners of the media leading up to the the Six Nations, Biggar insisted the squad were taking little heed of negative comments.
“There’s been loads and loads of hype about different Irish ex-players or whoever it is, speaking in the press and different things. That’s fine, but a lot of them haven’t played the game for a long, long time.
“The game moves differently. I’m sure all those who made those comments had a couple of tough days at the office when they were playing.
“But we are trying to block all that out and turn up on Sunday with a positive mindset as a group and hopefully we’ll do our talking then.”