DAN BIGGAR: Wales need winning mindset of Didier Drogba

DAN BIGGAR: From the King to the prince of the King’s Road! Wales need the winning mindset that made Didier Drogba football royalty if we’re to beat Eddie Jones’ Australia

  • Dan Biggar says Wales need to capture the winning mentality of Didier Drogba
  • He was lucky enough to meet the former Chelsea star this week on a trip
  • Wales face Australia in a big clash hoping to add to their two wins so far  
  • Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results

It was a huge honour for me to meet King Charles, Didier Drogba and some of the Paris Saint-Germain players this week ahead of our World Cup game with Australia on Sunday.

Martyn Williams our team manager sent me an email and asked if I fancied going along to an event in Saint-Denis on Wednesday. A lady who had been at our capping ceremony in Versailles at the start of the tournament had extended the invite. To be honest, it was the PSG players which sold it to me!

I met Presnel Kimpembe which was pretty cool. I’m a big football fan. I didn’t have the heart to tell him or Drogba I support Manchester United though, especially at the moment!

For me, the magic of World Cups is about embracing these sorts of opportunities. You only have one career and have to make the most of it.

The King said congratulations for our two wins so far and mentioned that he’d seen the Prince of Wales in our changing room after we beat Fiji.

Dan Biggar met football legend Didier Drogba ahead of Wales’ clash with Australia on Sunday and said they need to capture his winning mentality

Wales have won both of their matches at the Rugby World Cup so far but Australia are their biggest test yet 

With Drogba, it was more of a fleeting conversation because he was being bombarded by children for pictures. I managed to sneak one in though! He said he was surprised I lived in Toulon.

Drogba started his club career with Marseille.

Brigitte Macron was there too and we had a good conversation. She said she was very impressed with my French, especially because she struggles with English!

We met at the fan village right by the Stade de France on the outskirts of Paris. The event was all about getting kids to play sport. I couldn’t believe the company I was keeping.

Even though I’m a United fan – and that’s tough to say right now after our start to the season – meeting Drogba reminded me of the winning mentality the Chelsea teams he played in under Jose Mourinho had. I think we can take a lot from that for our World Cup campaign.

Chelsea under Mourinho were a winning machine. They got the job done. As a Wales side, we’re probably not in that position just yet but want to have a similar mindset for this tournament.

As a squad, we’ve been quite disappointed at the negativity which has come our way. I don’t think we’ve got enough credit for our opening win over Fiji.

And then we made 13 changes for Portugal and still got another bonus-point win. Yes, we could have played better in Nice. But we’ve got 10 points from two games. We couldn’t have done more so far.

Dan Biggar met King Charles, who congratulated Wales on their two wins so far 

Biggar is a big football fan and met current PSG star Presnel Kimpembe (centre) 

It’s been a turbulent year for Welsh rugby, so if someone had said we’d be in this position right now during what was a chaotic Six Nations, I’m not sure too many people would have believed it.

Like Mourinho’s Chelsea, we’ve been winning and that’s all that counts.

We know we will have to improve again to beat Eddie Jones’ Australia.

I know everyone has got an opinion on Eddie. But I actually really like him. I like his confidence and he shoots from the hip. He’s a talking point for rugby and says what he thinks a lot of the time.

This week he’s said he’s got no doubt Australia are going to win. I’ve got no problem with that.

He’s hardly going to come out and say he expects his team to lose, is he?

We played some really good rugby for long periods against Fiji, especially in the third quarter when we pulled away. We also withstood a lot of pressure which will stand us in good stead.

We are going to have to repeat that against Australia and be more efficient.

I was talking to Martyn this week and we discussed the fact there is a huge carrot for us in this game.

We know if we win, we’re through to the quarter-finals.

Will Skelton and Taniela Tupou are big injury losses for Australia but that doesn’t change anything for us. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got things right our end. The focus is on ourselves.

Australia coach Eddie Jones has expressed confidence his side will beat Wales on Sunday 

Fiji stunned Australia to leave Jones side needing a win against Wales to keep their hopes alive 

We’ve won two games and got 10 points. We’re not saying we’re absolutely brilliant and the best thing since sliced bread, but what we are saying is the more time we spend together, the better we get.

There is no doubt the group has grown in belief. We’re fully confident for the game.

Australia will be desperate. They have to win and have brilliant players but we are looking forward to it. It’s high stakes rugby in World Cup matches like this but we’ve spoken about not getting dragged into that. I would imagine it’s going to be another tight one. Wales and Australia games usually are.

We never seem to make things easy for ourselves. It will probably be very cagey.

Our analysis shows Australia have kicked the second most in this World Cup so far.

Both sides will be looking for territory but we are confident in our game plan. A few of our players were rested for Portugal with Australia in mind so we’re fit and ready to go. My body feels good.

I’m looking forward to playing at the stadium in Lyon. It’s fantastic.

I know the opening two games have been nervy to watch for Welsh fans. Hopefully we can make things a bit easier for them because they have been amazing.

We’ve had fantastic support here in France and want to repay those who have made an incredible effort to travel with wins and good performances.

We know if we get things right our end, we’ll be difficult to beat.

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