Player Profile: Justin Tipuric

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

5 Apr 2017

Justin Tipuric has quickly become one of the most consistent performers in Wales and – since his international debut in 2011 – has been an integral part of the Welsh squad.

Tipuric made his senior debut for Ospreys in 2009 and has pulled on the black jersey on more than 130 occasions.

His tackling, scavenging and speed off the floor makes Tipuric one of the more dynamic opensides in the Guinness PRO12 and is part of the reason he has earned 51 caps for Wales.

Back in 2013, after Wales sealed a momentous RBS 6 Nations Championship title with a 30-3 victory over England in Cardiff, Tipuric was named in the 2013 Lions squad which returned home with a series win.

Though Tipuric has been forced to battle with former captain Sam Warburton for the No.7 jersey in the Wales side, in the 2017 RBS 6 Nations the coaching staff elected to shift Warburton to the blindside in order to feature both men in the back row.

Accompanied by Warburton and Ross Moriarty, Tipuric started all five of Wales’ Championship matches, earning his 50th cap in their 22-9 win over Ireland.

Despite his half-century of caps for Wales and a Test appearance for The British & Irish Lions, Tipuric had never previously appeared in a European knockout match before this season.

Tipuric helped Ospreys to the maximum 30 points in the pool stage but the Welsh side could not transfer their form into the quarter-final, eventually losing 25-21 to Stade Francais.

That said, Ospreys sit third in the Guinness PRO12 table and are in the hunt for a top four and semi-final spot.

And the 27-year-old openside has taken on more responsibility in the side as one of the more senior players and has no doubt aided the impressive progress of Sam Underhill in the back row.

Tipuric could be a contender for his second Lions Tour this summer, with Warren Gatland set to name his squad in a fortnight’s time.

Despite the quality of back rows in the mix for the limited places for the Lions, Tipuric has displayed a consistency and dynamism to his game that could persuade Gatland to include the Ospreys man.

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