Standing on one of the highest points of the Gower Peninsula, is enjoying a rare moment of reflection as he looks out across the bay.
He points out the imposing Tata Steel Works, where Liam Williams used to work as a scaffolder on the blast furnace.Then he moves across to Samson Lee’s traveller settlement, explaining how the prop often takes his fishing boat all the way to Ireland on his days off.
Finally he settles on the school rugby pitch, tucked behind a group of new-build houses, where he first dreamed of becoming Wales’s No 10.
Dan Biggar is preparing to win his 100th cap for Wales when he faces Scotland on Saturday
‘I was 11 years old,’ he recalls.‘It was a day just like this. Beautiful weather. Mr Mason put together a lunchtime rugby club at school. They were short of a No 10 so they chucked me in. I kicked a couple of conversions and stuck with it.’
Things did not work out too badly.Still wearing the No 10 jersey, Biggar will lead out Wales on Saturday to play his 100th Test.
‘At that stage, you obviously dream of playing for Wales but you never think about anything like 100 caps. I was picked up by the Ospreys academy as a teenager and I thought, “You know what, I’ll give this a crack”.
‘They sent me to play a few games with Swansea to get a taste of senior rugby.Bedwas away in the thumping rain. Boys wheel-spinning into the carpark, two minutes before training, still wearing their work clothes. Painters, builders, office workers.
The fly-half won his first cap in 2008 but did not establish himself in the side until 2013
‘At one point, I played a couple of games for the Ospreys when James Hook was away on Wales duty.I presumed that when Hooky came back I’d go and play for Swansea, but they put Hooky at 12 and kept me in the team. I never went back to Swansea after that.
‘They offered us a contract on two grand a year. I remember thinking, “Hang on, I’m gonna be losing money here!” I went into the coaching office, 17 years old, saying I thought it was a bit light.I walked out with a 10 grand bump up, thinking I’d won the lottery! Walking around like Jeff Bezos! I went out and upgraded my car to a grey Seat Leon! That’s where it all started.’
Biggar won his first cap against Canada in 2008.He arrived with little fanfare, branded practical rather than precocious, and did not establish himself under Warren Gatland until 2013.
Even as captain, on the occasion of his 100th cap against Scotland, there will still be some questioning his position. Yet Biggar has always eloquently answered back with dogged determination.
Biggar spoke to Sportsmail’s Nik Simon about his career at his home on the Gower in Wales
‘I was never “the next big thing”.
There was no Marcus Smith kind of introduction. I came in very much as third choice. I started the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2010. I was 19 years old and I walked into that changing room to ask Dan Carter for his shirt. I’ve still got it up on the wall.
The boys joke that he used my jersey to clean his car the next day! I didn’t put that jersey in the hotel wash because I was worried it wouldn’t come back. I kept a stinking jersey all tour and gave it to my mum to wash when I got back!
‘I didn’t play much for a couple of years after that and I’m pretty proud to have come back from that.To be pushing onto 100 caps now, I must have done something right.
‘In Wales, the No 10 always gets stick. I’ve had it for 10 years and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of being written off. There’s always somebody better than you.You get slated and people want somebody else in, but you’ve just got to ride it out and stick at it. I’m proud of how I’ve done that and stayed fit.
‘Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I could’ve just knocked it on the head.In 2017, I remember sitting in the kitchen with my wife Alex thinking, “Why do I bother with this?” But I’ve never lost the desire. I love it. I love playing for Wales.
‘I’ve always wanted to get to 100 caps and to play at the next World Cup.I’ll never go down as the most skilful player that’s played for Wales by any stretch. There will always be comparisons to Phil Bennett, Barry John, Jonathan Davies. Amazing players. But I’d like to think that in terms of desire, application, fight, toughness and sticking it out that I’d be near the top of the charts.
Biggar admits that he has always received stick from Wales fans but has enjoyed the challenge
‘When people say there are more skilful players, I almost take it as a compliment.I’d much rather be tough and display all those other attributes then show a flash of skill now and again.’
Grit and determination has often papered over the cracks of an under-resourced squad. The locals call it hwyl. Wales’ hope is that they can pull off another underdog performance in Cardiff today to mark the occasion.
Times have changed since Biggar’s debut – 112 new caps have been awarded and a new coach now holds the reins – but the will to win has never wavered.He has been there through thick and thin, the good times and the bad, and he will try not to get carried away with the moment.
‘You actually get a box in the stadium given to you by the union for your 100th game so I’ve got to pick 12 people to give the tickets to.A few friends, Andar Nights my agent, school lads, my family… although my little one couldn’t give a monkeys whether it’s my 100th game or we’re playing in the park!
‘My grandparents will be really proud. I phoned them before the captaincy was announced and they said it was their dream come true.I had a really nice message from Gats around the same time.
Wales lost thier Six Nations opener against Ireland and will be looking to bounce back at home
‘He saw that I’d said there was no one else left to do the job and he said, “Don’t do yourself a dis-service”.Warren gave me 80-odd caps so that was a nice touch.
‘I’ll be thinking about my mum and the huge part she played in my rugby. She was always there from the start. I always think of her.
‘Before she passed away last year, she wrote me a little note saying, “Wishing you all the happiness in the world. Today, tomorrow and always. Lots and lots of love, Mum”.I always keep that by the side of my bed. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at at night. It will be very emotional knowing that the one person I would really want there can’t be there.
‘I’m not a particularly emotional character but not many guys have got to 100 caps.As much as anything, it will a bit of validation and sticking two fingers up at the people who write you off.
‘It’s a job that comes with pressure but there are perks as well. When you do well, you do well off the back of it. I’m in a privileged position to play No 10 for Wales so many times.Nobody can take that achievement away from you, so there will just be a huge sense of pride.’