Reports emerged over the weekend in The Rugby Paper that Wales and British and Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric could make a £500k-a-year move to Bristol Bears.


These reports have since been denied, but it created quite a reaction from supporters of his home club Ospreys.

Usually, any rumours of a player leaving a team are met with indignation and disappointment, but this one was universally accepted by many fans, who have become disillusioned about the current state of regional rugby.

The 30-year-old is no longer deemed a young player, but still has a few years left in him where he could ply his trade abroad. With 72 Wales caps to his name, he would still be eligible to represent his country, as he is over the 60-cap threshold, and no one would blame him for making such a move.

The Welsh Rugby Union simply cannot compete with the Gallagher Premiership or Top 14 teams in terms of wages, and the opinion seems to be that Tipuric has earned the right to cash in in the latter stages of his career for his services to the Ospreys over the years.


While there were also reports that some French clubs were also interested in the flanker, Bristol would perhaps provide more of a chance of silverware than if he stayed at the Liberty Stadium.

Outside of the Scarlets, no side in Wales has looked like competing in Europe or the Pro14 in recent years, and the Llanelli side dropped off last season. On the other hand, Pat Lam has a promising side in the west of England, who are a growing force.

The proposed merger between the Ospreys and the Scarlets earlier this year exposed some of the troubles the WRU are facing financially, and while players’ careers are finite, they should be allowed to make the most while they can.


Sonny Bill Williams speaks at a press conference alongside Toronto Wolfpack head coach Brian McDermott and chief executive Bob Hunter following his move to the Super League newcomers.

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