Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Tipuric plays down Lions selection talk

Justin Tipuric was a key figure in Wales' Six Nations triumph

Wales' Six Nations hero Justin Tipuric will gladly shun the spotlight and talk of Lions selection by returning to his roots this week.

Ospreys flanker Tipuric turned in a man-of-the-match display in Saturday's 30-3 victory over England, helping Wales retain their RBS 6 Nations title. The 23-year-old played a key part in both of Wales' tries, scored by wing Alex Cuthbert, and his performance has catapulted him into most pundits' British & Irish Lions Test line-ups for their first engagement against Australia in Brisbane at the end of June.

But the modest back-rower is paying little attention to the plaudits that have come his way, saying: "There has been a lot of press about the Lions but it would be ridiculous to even think about it."

He added: "The biggest thing for me is to try and concentrate on playing well for the Ospreys and our main aim is to try and get in the RaboDirect Pro12 play-offs and anything can happen from there.

"If the Lions is meant to be then it is meant to be and that is how I see life in general. You just have to concentrate on the here and now, rather than what might happen then.

"You just have to stay grounded. You have to politely take the compliments but you can't take anything for granted.

"You just want to be the best player you can be. I am not the finished article and just have to keep working hard."

And far from wanting time to reflect on his superb individual display, Tipuric is desperate to be involved for his region when they face Newport Gwent Dragons in a Welsh derby on Friday night.

He said: "I want to play on Friday night. I really enjoy playing for the Ospreys and they are a great bunch of boys. It is not going to be easy playing against the Dragons and they love playing against us.

"The likes of Toby Faletau and maybe Dan Lydiate will be back so it is never going to be easy. I just hope Toby does not run over me too many times."

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