Justin Tipuric says the Ospreys will have to match Saracens physically if they are to record a win at Wembley on Saturday night.
The Ospreys will become the first Welsh region to play at the home of English football when they run out to face the current Aviva Premiership champions for the first of the back-to-back double header, with the return match at the Liberty Stadium the following Friday (16th December, 8.00pm KO), and the young openside is predicting a tough couple of games.
“We’ve done a lot of analysis on Saracens already this week” said Tipuric.
“We know they’ve got a big strong pack that give their backs momentum. They’ve got a good set-piece and lineout so we’ve just got to try and stop the forwards.
“You look at the way South Africa play, they are physical, they try and run over people, run through people, that’s the way Saracens play. We’ve just to be as physical as we can to stop them.
“When we look back at the Treviso draw it’s not the result we wanted but it’s not an easy place to go. Biarritz and Saracens have still got to go there. Now though, it’s about keeping momentum going for us. Hopefully we can get the win this weekend then bring them back to the Liberty in front of our fans.”
Tipuric missed last weekend’s memorable win over Munster at the Liberty as he was otherwise engaged earning his second international cap at the Millennium Stadium, and having returned to Ospreys HQ at Llandarcy on Monday morning he said there was a definite buzz about the place:
“Coming back into the camp with spirits high after the win in Munster makes things easier. We haven’t got long to settle everyone back in, but we’re prepared and we’re all looking forward to a good weekend.
“You can see the boys are all smiles, everyone’s happy, and you know it’s going to be tough to pick a team this weekend. Whoever is wearing that jersey is hopefully going to perform for the team and that’s what we need if we are going to progress.”
Like the rest of his team-mates, playing at Wembley will be a new experience for Tipuric and although he is looking forward to it he denies suggestions from elements of the media that Saracens have traded in a genuine ‘home advantage’.
“I’ve been thinking about this" said the Trebanos RFC product.
"I still think it’ll be their home game, they’ll have their supporters there, most of the crowd in the stadium will be behind them. We’ve just got to try and keep their fans quiet. It’s going to be a tough job but it’s something that we’ve got to do.
“Enjoying football as well as rugby, Wembley is a nice place to go. It’ll be a good experience, I can’t wait to go there.”