New Ospreys defence coach Brad Davis claims that Wales and Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric is one of the best openside flankers he’s ever worked with and compared the 27-year-old to 111 cap Wallabies veteran George Smith.
Davis joined Ospreys in May following lengthy stints at both Wasps and Baths and after working with the likes of George Smith, James Haskell and Michael Lipman, Davis has proclaimed Tipuric as one of the very best sevens he’s ever worked with.
“As a classic seven he’s one of the best sevens I’ve worked with,” Davis told The South Wales Evening Post.
“I worked with George for a season and Justin is definitely of that ilk, albeit that they have different strengths and weaknesses at the breakdown.
“But in terms of overall intelligence and how they see the rugby game, they are alike.”
Tipuric has made a sensational start to the Pro 12 season boasting a 100% tackle success rate through two games as Ospreys sit atop of the Pro 12 table after opening round wins over Zebre and Connacht.
Davis praised the flanker’s work rate and intelligence as a rugby player, but also his abilities as a leader, particularly as the Ospreys defence captain.
“He was outstanding,” said Davis after the win over Connacht.
“There again, he doesn’t have too many sub-par performances. Watching him from afar and then close up, I think he’s a top, top professional with a real intelligence about the game.
“Most importantly, he sets the right tone for the team as our defence captain. He made his numbers in the tackles, but the way he led the team defensively was absolutely outstanding.”
Justin Tipuric will try and keep that 100% tackle rate intact when the Ospreys welcome Kieran Crowley’s Treviso to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.