The 'definite highlight' Tipuric reaction being named Wales captain
Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric will captain Wales in the Autumn Nations Series. The 33-year-old, who has won 86 caps, takes over from the injured Dan Biggar. Tipuric missed the whole of last season after suffering a shoulder injury during the British and Irish Lions’ South Africa tour warm-up Test against Japan in June 2021.
Tipuric previously captained Wales against Uruguay during the 2019 World Cup in Japan. “I am honoured,” he said. “I didn’t quite expect it, to be honest. I was just happy to get back in the squad. To have the responsibility of leading such a great bunch of boys out on the field is something that is a definite highlight of your career. It’s very exciting to be back to play at the stadium.
“You take it for granted but when you are out of the game for a while you look back and it shows how much I do miss it. It is one of the big things in rugby and something you want to make the most of, whether it is one more game or ten more minutes left to play there.”
Tipuric’s Ospreys teammate Dewi Lake, meanwhile, has been ruled out of the autumn schedule due to a shoulder injury. The hooker was hurt during his team’s United Rugby Championship defeat against the Dragons on Sunday. Lake has been replaced in the 35-man squad by Dragons’ former Ulster forward Bradley Roberts.
Wales kick off their autumn schedule against New Zealand on November 5, with Lake the latest casualty. Head coach Wayne Pivac was already without Biggar, Liam Williams, Wyn Jones, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Johnny Williams, Josh Navidi and Taine Basham because of injuries.
Pivac has a number of other players who will require monitoring during the build-up to New Zealand’s Cardiff visit. That list includes George North (knee), Leigh Halfpenny (hamstring strain), Josh Adams (hand), Alex Cuthbert (shoulder) and Gareth Anscombe (ribs). Wales also face Argentina, Georgia and Australia during their autumn programme.
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