Tipuric enjoying international spotlight

After marking his first international start with a performance that made the rugby public outside of Ospreylia sit up and take notice, Justin Tipuric was keeping his feet firmly planted on solid ground on Saturday evening.

The young flanker was handed his first start in the win over Italy at the Millennium Stadium after Wales skipper Sam Warburton was ruled out with a knee injury, and in a season that has seen him cement his place in the Ospreys first XV, captaining the on numerous occasions, he put on the typical all-action kind of displays that fans at the Liberty Stadium have come to expect, working hard in defence and shining in the loose whenever he had the opportunity.

Despite all the plaudits coming his way this weekend, he insisted he’ll continue to keep his head down and work hard to keep Warburton on his toes with the Grand Slam decider against France to come on Saturday.

"Sam is our captain and it’s going to be hard to keep that jersey with him there," Tipuric said.

"He has made a name for himself – look at what he’s done. I have just got to keep working on my game and enjoy my rugby with the Ospreys. I’ve got to be patient.

"We both push each other to become better players. We know, if we’re playing and make a mistake, there’s someone to come on – we know we have got to perform."

And Tipuric believes playing the whole match against the Azzurri will only stand him in good stead.

"You’re part of it when you’re on the bench but it’s obviously a bit of a different feeling when you start a match," he said.

"If I am lucky enough to be involved against France, it does give me an advantage of having had 80 minutes under my belt against Italy. You can see the fans and hear them screaming you on. I loved it. I just try and go on the pitch to enjoy myself and prove myself as a player.

"We knew Italy were going to be a tough outfit. You can never underestimate them but we had the win that matters."