Shaun Edwards admits Osprey Justin Tipuric is a ready-made replacement if Wales captain Sam Warburton fails to recover from a neck injury in time for their clash with Australia.
Cardiff Blues’ Warburton required surgery on a cheekbone injury early in the season and was absent from his side’s European Rugby Challenge Cup game with Pau as well as their Guinness PRO12 loss to loss to Welsh rivals Scarlets last time out.
Tipuric meanwhile has been in stellar form for second-placed Ospreys, scoring a stunning individual try from 50-metres out against Newcastle Falcons in the Challenge Cup.
Edwards confirmed that Warburton will return to Blues colours in a bid to regain fitness, while Tipuric seems destined for the Test side.
“I’m a big fan of Justin Tipuric.His form in attack and defence has been superb. He’s got 100 per cent tackle completion,” he said.
“Our defensive system is very reliant on people having speed.
“It’s reliant on people getting off the line quickly and Tipuric really helps our line speed when he plays.”
Warburton could feature for Danny Wilson’s side when they face Benetton Treviso on Friday night and with Wales set to take on Argentina, South Africa and Japan this autumn, the Blues flanker could yet return for the national side.
Liam Williams is another injury doubt for Rob Howley’s side as he struggles with an ankle injury, but Edwards did not confirm whether the Scarlets man would make it in time for the Wallabies.
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