Justin Tipuric: New Ospreys captain says Wales trio boost region

Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric
Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric are colleagues with Ospreys, Wales and the British and Irish Lions

Justin Tipuric believes a trio of Wales internationals can help the Ospreys achieve an improved season.

The region's new captain, who replaces Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones in wearing the armband, is hoping Ospreys can improve from their fifth-placed finish in Pro14, Conference A.

The Ospreys have added Wales trio Scott Williams, George North and Aled Davies during the summer.

"All three of them bring so much, it's not just on the field either," he said.

"They have that little bit of leadership as well, I think it has made a difference… it has helped already.

"And they are world class players, when they have the ball in their hands they will only make us better as a team."

Flanker Justin Tipuric takes the captaincy after Jones stepped down after a record 115 appearances and eight seasons as Ospreys skipper.

The 29-year-old British and Irish Lion Tipuric is no stranger to the armband having led the region on 27 occasions in the last seven years.

George North runs with the ball for Northampton
Wales wing George North has joined Ospreys from Northampton Saints

"It is a privilege to represent my home region, to even play for them and to captain them is huge," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"There are massive boots to step into, taking over from probably one of the best captains in the world.

"Taking over from him will not be an easy task. Alun is so experienced in everything he does; he leads by example on the pitch.

"He always puts his body on the line, that's one of the main things you need to do as captain."

Tipuric admits there will be a fresh look to the Ospreys squad this season following the departure of his international teammates Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar.

Biggar joined Northampton Saints after 11-years with Ospreys and Webb, who is joining Toulon, also ending an 11-year association with the region.

"Obviously they are massive losses, two world class players, boys from the region as well," Tipuric admitted.

"But they've had opportunities to further their careers and have a different challenge.

"We've brought in boys who are looking sharp in training and it is a big job to fill their shoes.