CHRIS KIRWAN SAYS: Super skipper Sam will roll with it
9:10am Thursday 15th November 2012 in Sport
ARE you Blur or Oasis; Warburton or Tipuric?
At times it seems that we have to nail our colours to the mast when it comes to Wales openside.
It is a situation that seems to have led plenty of folk to jump the gun when reporting the sad demise of Sam Warburton.
The Wales captain will be on the bench when Samoa are the visitors at the Millennium Stadium, and rightly so.
Justin Tipuric has been in fine form in the number 7 jersey for the Ospreys.
He has benefited from playing in a pack that is consistently on the front foot rather than the powder puff tight five in front of Warburton at Cardiff Blues.
Wales are blessed to have two quality opensides and hopefully Tipuric will demonstrate that when winning his eighth cap.
But some are overplaying the fall of Warburton, who admittedly wasn’t at his best against Argentina.
However, he was in a pack that didn’t produce as a whole and it was a game that served to highlight the alarming drop in quality when Dan Lydiate or Ryan Jones are not available to slot in on the blindside.
Warburton is a fine, fine player who just isn’t quite hitting the heights that he did at the World Cup.
He will find himself under pressure from Tipuric over the coming weeks and months and it’s up to him to rise the challenge.
I don’t doubt he will and certainly wouldn’t bet against Warburton leading out the Lions in Australia next year.
For the record, I bought both Country House and Roll with It in the battle for the top of the charts.
Don’t rule out Rob Howley also hedging his bets over the coming months.