With Warren Gatland having moved on following another successful World Cup campaign it’s safe to say the Ospreys man didn’t know what to expect when arriving for training for the first time under Wales’ new coaching regime. This is how Tipuric – named as captain this afternoon – found his first week under new head coach Wayne Pivac, and what he is expecting from today’s game against the Barbarians…
“A lot of change has gone on already. There’s a lot of different plays that we needed to learn in a short time ready for the Barbarians.
“There’s also a lot of new boys but it’s been good so far. Stephen Jones has a totally different way he wants us to attack. “They’ve also said they don’t want to tweak things too much. It was a bit like the first day at school trying to learn new things so that you don’t get left behind.
“There was a different feeling driving into work on Monday. There was a feeling of the unknown and I didn’t know what to expect.
“But there has also been a nice buzz around the place. Jonathan Humphreys who I worked with at the Ospreys is a great coach and a great bloke. “He’s already put his stamp on the training sessions. I’m very confident he will keep improving our pack.
“It’s going to be good to get back working with Sam Warburton as well. He’s going to have a big input on the contact area and on the squad in general. “He’s enjoying it and looking forward to todays game. The main thing is that the team will get better and better.
“Sam is fresh from playing and hasn’t been out of the game for long. So he will bring a lot of new ideas and importantly he is someone who all the players love and respect.
“Wayne ‘s philosophy is a bit different and that’s really exciting. We’ve obviously got to earn the right to go wide like any other team. “I think it is going to take time and it won’t happen overnight but I’m really encouraged by the first training week.
“Both Ollie Griffiths and Taine Basham have been impressive in training. They are good boys and when I’ve played against them in the past I’ve been impressed.
“The strength in depth in the back-row is crazy. If we had nine opensides out injured whoever was number 10 in the pecking order would come in and do an unbelievable job. “I think that’s one position we are very lucky in. It’s good to have a week together before the Six Nations.
“It’s also nice to play a game together before the Six Nations. The Barbarians will look to throw the ball around wherever they are on the park.
“Playing for the Barbarians is all about enjoyment and they want to score some spectacular tries. We probably don’t want too much of a loose game and we’ve got to expect the unexpected.
“We want to play an open game as well but we’ve got to be careful we don’t overdo it because we want to win the game. If you give them loose ball then we will get punished.
“They will be very dangerous off turnover ball so we also have to be wary of that.
“If you look at where Wales were at when Warren took over to the position he left us in there’s been a massive improvement. It’s crazy how much he helped improve us so it will be good to catch up with him after the game.
“I can’t believe how quick it’s gone. It only feels like yesterday when I came in for my first camp in 2011.
“Warren is all I’ve known since playing for Wales and they’ve left Wales in a much better place. But we will 100 per cent want to get one over on Warren and Robin McBryde today.
“We want to get the Wayne Pivac era off to a good start. I think it’s the right time for something fresh and I think there are some very exciting times ahead.”