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Tipuric hails Gatland as a coach who knows how to win

UK Sport | Published:

The Wales flanker was full of praise for the head coach after the third Grand Slam of his career.

Justin Tipuric has hailed Warren Gatland as a coach who “knows how to win” after Wales were crowned Six Nations Grand Slam champions.

The Wales boss claimed a Five or Six Nations record third clean sweep as Ireland were swept away 25-7 in a Principality Stadium downpour.

Not only did Wales record a biggest win against Ireland for 43 years, they also moved second behind New Zealand in rugby’s official rankings and will head to the World Cup in Japan later this year as major title contenders.

And his players were quick to salute a tactical and motivational giant, who has moulded Wales into an irresistible force.

“Right from the start (of the tournament), it is just crazy because he (Gatland) said if we beat France, we will go on and win the Grand Slam,” Wales flanker Tipuric said.

“He has confidence with the boys and plays a lot of mind games with the media and coaches. One way to sum it up is he knows how to win, and that is him, really.”

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And Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones added: “He has been pretty prolific, not just with Wales but with the other red jersey (British and Irish Lions) as well.

“When you have someone who is so confident at the top of the tree, that filters down and it’s hard to ignore.

“He has got a bit left on his contract, so he can’t take his foot off the gas yet. But his record speaks for itself. Three Grand Slams.”

Wales’ next game is a World Cup warm-up fixture against England on August 11, and they will arrive at Twickenham on the back of a 14-Test unbeaten run.

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Wales have not lost for 13 months, and Gatland is unquestionably building something special as he plots a concerted bid for world supremacy.

Tipuric said: “We are building good momentum. We know Ireland. When they play well, Conor (Murray) and Johnny (Sexton) go well, and we knew if we could give them a bit of an off day then that would go a long way to help us get the win.”

While Jones can reflect on collecting a third Grand Slam – he follows Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones and Ryan Jones in becoming only the fourth Welshman to achieve that feat in Six Nations rugby – others like Josh Adams are first-timers.

The Worcester wing played a key role in Wales’ triumph, scoring tries during successive victories over Italy, England and Scotland and he looks a Test match natural.

Wales v South Africa – Autumn International – Principality Stadium
Wing Josh Adams was a key part of Wales’ Six Nations success (David Davies/PA)

“We trust the game-plan and execute it the best we can, and the results take care of themselves.

“I’ve had 11 caps, thoroughly enjoyed all 11 of them, and to top it off with a Grand Slam is what dreams are made of.

“We’ve got another level to go, and we know that. We will enjoy this, go back to our clubs and reflect on it, then come back together and look forward to Japan.”

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