Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Tipuric shies away from publicity

Justin Tipuric wants to stay under the radar following his excellent displays for Wales

Justin Tipuric will run out for Wales in Paris on Saturday after commanding rave reviews following a number of top-class performances this season.

The public clamour for openside specialist Tipuric to start against France reached fever pitch ahead of Thursday's team announcement. Captain Sam Warburton was expected to move across the back-row to accommodate Tipuric, but a shoulder injury has sidelined the skipper with Ryan Jones called up as captain and handed the number six shirt.

The possible complication for interim head coach Rob Howley is what happens against Italy in three weeks' time if Wales beat France, Tipuric delivers and Warburton regains full fitness. However, Tipuric was staying away from the limelight, saying: "I try not to read papers and I don't have Twitter or anything like that."

He added: "I try to stay away from it, keep my head down and keep grounded, concentrating on rugby. I don't like much publicity at all, even if it is great support. It is not about me, it's about working for the team. If we get this win and I've done my role right for the team, then I will be happy.

"I am looking forward to it. I'm excited and I want to play more than anything."

Only three of Tipuric's 11 caps have been collected in the Six Nations arena, including last Saturday against Ireland when he played a pivotal role off the bench as Wales scored 19 unanswered points after trailing 30-3.

He is being talked about as a strong contender for this summer's British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, and this weekend he will find himself up against one of the world's leading back-row operators in France captain Thierry Dusautoir.

"Obviously, Dusautoir hasn't won all those awards for no reason, and (France number eight) Louis Picamoles is an absolute beast of a man and isn't an easy guy to stop," Tipuric added.

"It's definitely going to be a big battle between the back-rowers. They have a great back-row, and it will be a tough test for us.

"They (France) will come out of the blocks. Especially at home, they will come flying out, and we have to be ready for that and start well."

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