Wales currently have a potent one-two punch at fly-half and Callum Sheedy says working alongside Dan Biggar is teaching him how to be an international No.10.
Biggar and his 91 caps of Test experience have started all four games in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations for the table-toppers, with 25-year-old Sheedy coming off the bench to help close out each of those victories.
At times, as in last weekend’s 48-7 win over Italy, the job is largely already done by the time Sheedy enters the fray.
But in the 25-24 comeback victory over Scotland in Round 2 and the late surge to beat England 40-24 in Round 3, he was absolutely pivotal to success.
The new-look, replacement half-back pairing of Sheedy and Kieran Hardy helped overturn a 17-8 deficit when they came on early in the second half of the triumph at BT Murrayfield, while the No.10 spectacularly held his nerve to kick 13 points to down England in Cardiff.
If Wayne Pivac sticks with the same formula this weekend, then the international rookie could end up with a kick to win a Grand Slam for Wales less than ten games into his international career but the Bristol Bears star is ready for that pressure.
“You practice all week, you practice all your life for kicks, and it’s no different if it’s in the 80th minute or the first minute,” Sheedy told the WRU’s official website.
“You’ve just got to trust your process and back yourself. If there’s a kick in the 80th minute to win the Grand Slam, I’ll be more than happy to take that.
“Dan [Biggar] is a fantastic player who has had a great Championship and he was fantastic again on Saturday [against Italy].
“For me to learn from someone like Biggs, who has had 90 plus caps, is great. I can really see why he’s had that and why he’s at the top of the game in world rugby.
“Of course you don’t want to be somebody who is known as a bench player, but the main thing is that the team wins and if the team wins by Biggs starting and me coming off the bench, then so be it.”
Even though France’s own Grand Slam ambitions were ended by England at Twickenham in Round 4, Sheedy knows they will pose a serious threat in Paris on Super Saturday and is ready to come up against some of the best half-backs on the planet.
“[Scrum-half Antoine] Dupont is one of if not the best in the world,” said Sheedy. “He’s world class. His toolbox is pretty much full with different talents.
“We know we’ve got to keep him under control but you’ve got [Matthieu] Jalibert and [Romain] Ntamack as well at 10 who are both excellent players. I played against Jalibert in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup last year and he was excellent.
“You look at 1-15 of their side and they are full of threats. If we concentrate too much on one player, then the other 14 can hurt you.
“We know we’ve got to look after their nine and 10 who are massive parts of their game but they are full of threats around the pitch.”