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Justin Tipuric named as Ospreys captain, as Alun Wyn Jones heads into World Cup year with Wales

Ospreys have announced flanker Justin Tipuric will take over captaincy duties for the coming season, a decision head coach Allen Clarke described as an opportunity to have a ‘fresh voice’ leading the team.

Jones’ handing over of the role to his Wales teammate brings to an end his eight-year stint as captain of the Welsh region, having led the team for a record 115 appearances.

The timing of the decision comes with the Rugby World Cup 14 months away, when Jones will lead Wales in Japan at the end of the Warren Gatland era.

Commenting on the switch, Ospreys coach Clarke revealed he had held discussions with Jones who aired his belief that a change could be good for the team after missing out on the PRO14 play-offs last season.

Clarke told the club’s official website: “Alun Wyn is a proud Osprey who has led the team with great honour from the front since 2010 both as a player and as an ambassador. In Justin we have another world-class player who leads by example on and off the field.

“It’s important to remember that Al is still a major player and significant leader within our environment, but having discussed the position with him it was clear he believed the time was right for the Ospreys to have a fresh voice as a captain. An Osprey through and through, Justin is the right man for the job.

“A deep student of the game Tips has a wonderful understanding of rugby. He epitomises the past and what we aspire to be again. I’ve no doubt he will receive the full backing of players, staff and supporters alike.

Passing the baton from one British & Irish Lion to the next, Clarke was effusive about the leadership stocks his team possesses with Tipuric already captaining the side on 27 occasions.

“We are fortunate to have a number of players in the environment who are leaders and captains. As well as Alun Wyn, who remains Wales captain, Dan Lydiate, Bradley Davies and Scott Williams have all captained their country, and Giorgi Nemsadze is the captain of Georgia, so Justin has plenty of experience to support him throughout this season and beyond.”

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