Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Justin Tipuric hoping to be on song when he wins 50th Wales cap against Ireland

Justin Tipuric and The Temptations will be among the headline acts providing post-match entertainment in Cardiff on Friday night.

Wales flanker Tipuric, though, would much prefer it if he did not have to belt out a rendition of The Temptations' 1965 hit single My Girl.

But that is the price he will pay for becoming the 42nd Wales international to reach 50 caps, maintaining tradition by performing a song of his choice to unforgiving team-mates.

"I am going to try and run off and not sing - that's what I am planning," Tipuric said.

"I've got a dreadful voice, and there is only one song I really know and that's 'My Girl' from The Temptations.

"When I was with Trebanos Youth that was the song I had to sing on tour. It's the only song I know, so unfortunately I am going to have to sing that and go for gold."

Tipuric will become only the second Welshman after hooker Huw Bennett to clock up a half-century when the majority of those appearances have been as a replacement, rather than in the starting line-up.

But he is currently enjoying his longest run of starts, with Ireland's Principality Stadium visit being an eighth Test on the bounce when he has worn Wales' number seven shirt, once again packing down alongside fellow breakdown specialist Sam Warburton.

"I haven't really thought about it (winning 50 caps)," he added. "It's something I didn't think I would get, but it has crept up and it's a nice achievement to have.

"When you start playing, you are happy to get one cap, but to get 50 you just want to keep going and you don't really think about how many caps you have. You just think about the next game and playing for your country.

"You never give up - that is the one thing I've taken from it. You have just got to keep on top of your game."

Such is Ospreys star Tipuric's form that he is being mentioned in many quarters as a strong candidate to make what would be his second successive British and Irish Lions tour this summer.

But he insists that possible Lions business in New Zealand is not on his current agenda ahead of this season's final two Six Nations rounds that see Wales host Ireland before a Paris appointment with France next week.

"I don't think anyone thinks about it (Lions), and that is the honest truth," said Tipuric, who goes head to head with another major Lions contender - Ireland's Sean O'Brien - on Friday.

"I personally don't, and I don't think any of the boys do either. Nobody speaks about it. It is all about us trying to win for Wales, and what happens then, happens."

Tipuric will line up in an unchanged team after interim head coach Rob Howley offered a shot at redemption for the side beaten by Scotland 12 days ago when Wales conceded 20 unanswered second-half points.

Howley has said he expects a reaction, and Tipuric added: "Nobody likes losing, in life and in general.

"Playing for your country and playing for Wales and how passionate we are and the fans are, you just want to get back out there straightaway and get stuck in, really.

"Hopefully we are going to have that composure and that little bit of detail that will go a long way for us trying to win the game.

"Ireland are a great team. Not many teams beat the All Blacks, and they've done that.

"We know exactly what type of game it is going to be. We are going to be battered and bruised afterwards, and that is what the games against Ireland are like. They are big, heavy and powerful, and it is going to be a tough test."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph