Reinach catches up with old friends as Saints star Biggar reflects on Lions loss

Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar took the chance to catch up with former Saints team-mate Cobus Reinach after the British & Irish Lions suffered a Test series defeat to South Africa.
Courtney Lawes, Cobus Reinach and Dan Biggar after Saturday's third and final Lions Test in Cape TownCourtney Lawes, Cobus Reinach and Dan Biggar after Saturday's third and final Lions Test in Cape Town
Courtney Lawes, Cobus Reinach and Dan Biggar after Saturday's third and final Lions Test in Cape Town

The trio were pictured together in the changing rooms after Saturday's match in Cape Town, which the Springboks won 19-16 thanks to a late Morne Steyn penalty.

Reinach started the game for South Africa, while Lawes and Biggar were both in the Lions starting 15.

However, Biggar was forced off after just 11 minutes with a shin injury.

Nevertheless, the Wales star was able to showcase a smile after the game as he caught up with Reinach, who left Saints for Montpellier last summer.

Writing about the game in his Mail on Sunday column, Biggar said: "I feel pretty emotional after that. This was my last tour and it hurts as you know you won’t get another chance.

"These opportunities don’t come around often and we’re so disappointed to have gone 1-0 up, then lost. The changing room was very quiet after the match.

"You couldn’t write it, could you? Morne Steyn kicking the goal to win it again. The boys joked that he’ll kick the winner when he’s 49.

"Irrespective of the result, for me to become a Test Lion and start all three games is pretty special.

"It’s obviously better if you win it, but I’ll look back on it all with pride.

"This was a big career goal of mine and now I want to kick on to win 100 Wales caps and some trophies with Northampton.

"Warren Gatland told us to be p****d off and disappointed for a couple of hours but get together, pick each other up and have a beer.

"This group is never going to be together again, so we have got to rally round each other.

"My final Lions experience only lasted 11 minutes, as I took a hefty whack to the shin when colliding with Damian de Allende. I couldn’t put much weight through my leg so had to go off, which was hugely disappointing."

Biggar is now looking forward to a break from rugby but he is keen to avoid spending too long on the sidelines.

He added: "It will be tough to get over, but I guess at least we have the consolation of going home to see families.

"I’ve had a lot of chats with my sister who has said mum will be very proud looking down on me. There is a tinge of sadness that she wasn’t here but I’m glad that I’ve done her proud.

"This tour has probably helped me take my mind off what’s going on at home. It’s not really normal life out here.

"My sister has had the tougher end of it and I’m incredibly proud of her. It’s funny because she’s pretended to have a little bit of interest in what’s going on with the rugby, almost filling the role that mum had.

"I’ve had a picture of my mum and my son James as the screensaver on my phone while I’ve been out here. I can’t wait to see my family again.

"We’re flying to Dublin to drop off the Irish lads, then heading on to Jersey for quarantine.

"My family are due to fly out but we’re looking at a last-minute switch to France. I’ve got a fair bit of daddy duty to catch up on!

"It’s been a great eight weeks and we’ve been treated extremely well, but a few boys will be rushing to the airport to get home to their loved ones. We’ve been away from our families for a long time.

"I’m going to have to go on a mad present dash at Cape Town airport! We haven’t been able to go to the shops here so I’ve not got anything to take home. James is desperate for some kind of Lion.

"I’m looking forward to normality — even the mundane stuff like having a bowl of cornflakes at whatever time you fancy in the morning.

"We’ve pretty much been playing for two years solid, so need to recharge the batteries. The break will be tough after that gut-wrenching loss, though.

"Most of the England guys have to take 10 weeks off but I’m hoping to get back a bit sooner and be available by the end of September.

"I already miss a lot of the club season because of Wales commitments so it doesn’t sit that easily with me not being available.

"It could be Christmas by the time some of the guys are back playing for their clubs, which is mad.

"I’ve got 10 days in a villa in Greece later this month. We’ve booked a couple of extra tickets to fly out and do some babysitting."