Justin Tipuric believes the time is right for fresh ideas inside the Wales camp and is relishing a new era under head coach Wayne Pivac.
Warren Gatland won three Grand Slams and reached two World Cup semi-finals during 12 successful years at the helm, with Tipuric emerging from the shadow of Sam Warburton to play a pivotal role over the past two seasons.
“Gatland was there a long time and I don’t think many coaches could stick it out as long as he did,” said Tipuric “I think it’s the right time for something fresh and a lot of the boys are looking forward to it.
“I’ve spoken to Wayne on the phone since I’ve been back from Japan. It’s going to take time for the coaches to put their stamp on the way they want us to play and the way they want to do things in camp.
“It will be interesting to see how some of the new boys do when they come into camp this week.”
Wales will arrived at their training base at the Vale earlier this week to begin preparations for Saturday’s clash with Gatland’s Barbarians at the Principality Stadium.
Despite the game being uncapped it will provide an opportunity for players to show the new coaching regime what they are about. Tipuric may have won 72 caps for Wales but he knows openside flanker is the most hotly contested position in Welsh rugby.
He said: “From the start of my career to now there’s always been fierce competition for the Wales number seven jersey. If we had nine opensides out injured whoever was number 10 in the pecking order would come in and do an unbelievable job. It’s one position we are very lucky in.
“I’ve got to keep on my toes or I’m going to get left behind. I’ve got to keep working hard to improve my game.”
Tipuric has yet to play for the Ospreys this season with Wales’ World Cup stars getting between four to six weeks off to recover. Allen Clarke’s side have struggled in the absence of their front-line players winning only one of their opening seven PRO14 and Champions Cup fixtures.
But Tipuric, who has been heavily linked with a move to Bristol at the end of the season, is hopefully things will improve as the season goes on.
“Last season was really tough at the Ospreys especially with the merger with the Scarlets falling through,” he said.
“It probably didn’t give us time to strengthen the squad in the way we wanted. We lost some players and we didn’t manage to bring many in because it was so late in the day and everyone didn’t know what was happening.
“I think when we get some boys back from injury it will only get better.”
Justin Tipuric was speaking to promote Canterbury’s new kit deal with the British & Irish Lions.