The five best moments of Justin Tipuric’s Wales career

Justin Tipuric announced his retirement from international rugby after a glittering career that saw him earn 93 Wales caps and win four Guinness Six Nations titles.

Justin Tipuric announced his retirement from international rugby after a glittering career that saw him earn 93 Wales caps and win four Guinness Six Nations titles.

Tipuric lifted the trophy in 2012, 2013, 2019 and 2021, with Grand slams coming in 2012 and 2019.

Having made his debut for Wales in a 2011 World Cup warm-up clash with Argentina, Tipuric went on to become a Welsh legend, as well as touring three times with the British & Irish Lions.

And as he hangs up his international boots, we look back at a career to remember – with five of his greatest Guinness Six Nations moments.

2012 Grand Slam

Tipuric was just 23 during his first Six Nations in 2012 and while he was not yet a surefire starter, he more than played his part.

Coming on for captain Sam Warburton in the 41st minute against Ireland, Tipuric was an important presence as Wales held on for a hugely important 23-21 win at the Aviva Stadium to get the Championship up and running.

He did not play in the wins over Scotland and England in Round 2 and 3 but found himself in the starting XV as Wales went four wins from four with a 24-3 win over Italy in Cardiff.

That proved to be his final involvement in that Championship, with Ryan Jones named on the bench for the title decider against France.

Tipuric had begun to make his mark and had a Grand Slam to his name before he had even fully established himself at international level.

The game to remember

By 2013, Tipuric had become a more utilised member of the squad and was involved in every match, before starting in the Round 5 title decider against England in Cardiff.

A win for England and they would secure the title and a first Grand Slam in a decade, Wales meanwhile needed to win by seven points or more to steal the title from their neighbours on points difference.

They led 9-3 at the break, before Tipuric, combined with captain Sam Warburton, put in a performance to remember.

The score was 12-3 when Tipuric scooped up the loose ball, finding Mike Phillips on the way to Alex Cuthbert’s first try.

Then came his streaky break, dummy and offload to find Cuthbert for his second to seal a 30-3 win and snatch the title from England’s grasp, which saw Tipuric claim Player of the Match in the process.

2019 Grand Slam

In the 2019 Championship, Tipuric was the main man for Warren Gatland at openside flanker and he started four of the five matches as Wales went on to win yet another Grand Slam.

He played a full 80 minutes in Paris in Round 1 as Wales fought back from 16-0 down at half-time to claim a 24-19 victory and get them on their way.

Gatland chose to largely rotate the side for the Round 2 win over Italy but he was back in the back row against England, in a battle between two unbeaten sides in Cardiff.

Wales again came from behind against England, this time trailing 10-3 at the break, before eventually winning 21-13, with Tipuric again playing a full 80 minutes.

He once more played the entire game against Scotland, as Wales advanced towards their Grand Slam with an 18-11 victory.

The title was sealed in Cardiff, as Wales defeated Ireland 25-7 to win the title, with Tipuric playing 320 minutes across the Championship.

A try for the ages

A year later and things were not quite as rosy for Wales and they again found themselves trailing 20-9 at half-time at Twickenham.

That was until Tipuric scored one of the great Guinness Six Nations tries just seconds after half-time.

Nick Tompkins stepped around Elliot Daly and found Josh Navidi who took the ball up to the ten-metre line to pass back inside to Tompkins who quickly got an offload away to Tomos Williams.

Williams then took the ball up to George Ford before finding Tipuric, who still had work to do from five metres outside the 22 but showed his pace to dive under the posts and get Wales back into the game aa mere 22 seconds after half-time.

While Wales went on to lose the match 33-30, Tipuric did go over for his second score of the match late on, his third try of the Championship – the second highest that year.

2021 title

Gatland had gone but Tipuric remained a hugely important figure under Wayne Pivac and played every single minute across the victorious 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign.

Wales began with a 21-16 win over Ireland, holding on to claim the victory in front of a pandemic-enforced empty stadium.

They came from behind once more against Scotland at BT Murrayfield, edging past a 14 men 25-24, before sealing the Triple Crown with a 40-24 triumph over England in Round 3.

A routine 48-7 win over Italy followed, leaving the title in Wales’ hands before their trip to Paris in Round 5.

The game was tied at 17-17 at the break, before Wales pulled into a 30-20 lead and saw Paul Willemse sent off with ten minutes to go.

Unfortunately for Wales, France rallied and scored two tries in the final three minutes to win a classic 32-30, thus denying Wales the Grand Slam in the process.

France lost to Scotland a week later, meaning Wales and Tipuric did at least lift the title.