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30th May 2017

Dan Biggar is already in on the biggest slagging about Johnny Sexton

He knows his stuff

Patrick McCarry

“I’m not Zlatan anyway, I’ll tell you that. I don’t know who I am. People portray me as some grump.”

Sexton is often portrayed as a grump because he spends an awful lot of his time, as a rugby player, being grumpy. It’s just the switch he needs to do this thing.

Teammates past and present will tell you all about Sexton settling for nothing but the very best and unloading on them if there is the slightest slip-up or hint of slacking off. Brian O’Driscoll calls it “rattiness”.

He’s grumpy and we love him for it.

Away from the pitch, he can be affable and good-humoured. When there is a game to prepare for, play in or reflect on, he can be pensive; blunt.

There is also the perception from the opposition that they can get under Sexton’s skin. Look at how Scarlets roughed him up and trash-talked in his direction during Leinster’s Guinness PRO12 semi final defeat. Look at Dan Biggar paying him close attention during Ireland’s Six Nations loss to Wales.

There were reports after the match that Biggar may have been needling the Irish outhalf when he was sin-binned at The Principality Stadium. The Reflink microphone picked up a Welsh player calling out ‘Cheers Johnny boy, have a good day son’ when he was yellow carded.

Asked, ahead of the final day win over England, about the alleged Biggar barb, Sexton said:

“I don’t know where the sledging thing came from. Someone said it to me. No-one sledged me. He texted me after the game and said he didn’t.”

By most accounts, Biggar and Sexton get on pretty well with each other. That is probably why the Welsh No.10 felt so comfortable slagging his rival for that Lions Test jersey.

Before flying out to New Zealand, Biggar the Independent:

“I was rooming with Johnny Sexton last week, it’s probably been the narkiest room in the hotel, but it was a really good week.

“Johnny and I have got on really well, maybe everyone else is the issue. We’ve always gotten on well after playing so often against him, it is good to be on the same side.”

As much as they get on with each other, Biggar has let it be known that he wants to start as outhalf in the Test Series.

To do that, he’ll not only have to get by Sexton but another narky individual, and class outhalf. Owen Farrell.

If it wasn’t easy, they wouldn’t be Lions.

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