Tipuric re­leased byWales amid back row dilemma

Western Mail - - SPORT - Si­mon Thomas Rugby cor­re­spon­dent si­mon.thomas@waleson­line.co.uk

Justin Tipuric is among 11 play­ers who have been re­leased back to the re­gions by Wales for this week­end.

The Ospreys flanker has been al­lowed to leave camp, along with the likes of Hal­lam Amos, Owen Watkin and James Davies, to get some game-time.

Un­der the agree­ment with the re­gions, Wales can re­tain all of their home-based play­ers through the en­tire Six Na­tions pe­riod, in­clud­ing the weeks like this with­out a Cham­pi­onship fix­ture.

But they have cho­sen to re­lease a size­able con­tin­gent to en­able them to get some rugby un­der their belts ahead of next week’s show­down with Ire­land in Dublin.

The case of Tipuric is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing, given the fit­ness sit­u­a­tion over fel­low back row­ers Ross Mo­ri­arty and Taulupe Fale­tau.

Mo­ri­arty picked up a knock to the shoul­der in last Satur­day’s 12-6 de­feat to Eng­land at Twick­en­ham and has been ruled out of Glouces­ter’s Aviva Pre­mier­ship trip to Worces­ter this week­end.

The 23-year-old has only re­cently re­turned to ac­tion af­ter two spells out with the back prob­lem which cut short his Lions tour last sum­mer.

And Bath have con­firmed that Fale­tau isn’t ready to re­turn from a knee in­jury against New­cas­tle on Fri­day night, mak­ing it very un­likely that he will be avail­able to face Ire­land.

If Mo­ri­arty were to be ruled out, then Josh Na­vidi would be odds on to move to No 8 for the Aviva Sta­dium clash, with Tipuric step­ping up from the bench to start on the open­side.

With that in mind, there may well be a feel­ing that the 55-cap Tipuric could do with some rugby, hav­ing not started a game for close on a month.

So he is now set to line up for the Ospreys in their Guin­ness PRO14 clash with the South­ern Kings at the Lib­erty Sta­dium to­mor­row evening.

The 28-year-old has come on as a sub for Mo­ri­arty dur­ing the sec­ond­half of Wales’ open­ing two Six Na­tions matches against Scot­land and Eng­land.

Fel­low flankers El­lis Jenk­ins and James Davies have also been re­leased to Cardiff Blues and the Scar­lets re­spec­tively, as they were last week.

The ver­sa­tile Jenk­ins is some­one who could come into the equa­tion for pro­vid­ing No 8 bench cover out in Dublin if Mo­ri­arty fails to make it.

He is joined by prop Dil­lon Lewis, sec­ond row Seb Davies and scrumhalf To­mos Wil­liams in be­ing re­leased to the Blues for Satur­day’s Arms Park en­counter with Mun­ster.

Along with Tipuric, the Ospreys are also bol­stered by the avail­abil­ity of Wales bench cen­tre Owen Watkin, prop Nicky Smith and lock Adam Beard for their meet­ing with the Kings.

The Dragons will have the fit-again Hal­lam Amos at their dis­posal for Sun­day’s game against Benet­ton at Rod­ney Pa­rade and he will be look­ing to build on his Man of the Match dis­play at full-back in last week’s draw with Glas­gow.

An­other im­pres­sive out­ing for Amos could see him come into the reck­on­ing for the highly com­pet­i­tive back three depart­ment ver­sus Ire­land.

Ge­orge North, Liam Wil­liams, St­eff Evans, Josh Adams and the re­cov­er­ing Leigh Half­penny are all fur­ther con­tenders for that con­gested area, not to men­tion ver­sa­tile duo Gareth An­scombe and Rhys Patchell.

As for the Scar­lets, they will have hooker Ryan Elias avail­able for Satur­day’s trip to Le­in­ster, along with James Davies.

Mean­while, all of Wales’ English­based play­ers have re­turned to their clubs.

We know Mo­ri­arty and Fale­tau won’t be get­ting their boots on, but Adams (Worces­ter), North (Northamp­ton) and Liam Wil­liams (Sara­cens) could all be in­volved in Aviva Pre­mier­ship ac­tion, as could prop To­mas Fran­cis (Ex­eter) and Owen Wil­liams (Glouces­ter).

Su­per Shingler tops Six Na­tions stats chart: Page 44

> Justin Tipuric has been re­leased back to the Ospreys

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.