Justin Tipuric says new Wales coach Wayne Pivac has already instituted change and that his ultimate ambition must be to win the World Cup.
Tipuric will skipper Wales in the absence of regular captain Alun Wyn Jones when the Pivac era starts against the Barbarians in an uncapped international in Cardiff on Saturday.
Pivac’s predecessor Warren Gatland – who spent 12 largely successful years with Wales – will be in charge of the Barbarians, and Tipuric has warned his former boss to expect change from players that he guided to fourth place at the 2019 World Cup earlier this month.
“There’s obviously been a lot of change this week,” Ospreys flanker Tipuric said.
“It’s a bit fresh for everyone and everything’s quite different – apart from kick-offs! A lot of learning has been going on and a bit of homework has been done.
“It needs a bit of time, but we had a taste of it at the last World Cup and showed what we could do.
“We were obviously disappointed we couldn’t quite get to that final, because that is what is expected with the quality of players and coaches we’ve got.
“We’ve got to be aiming to win that World Cup, there’s no point wearing that Welsh jersey unless you have that ambition.”
Wales won four Six Nations titles, three Grand Slams and reached two World Cup semi-finals during Gatland’s tenure that returned pride to Welsh rugby.
But Gatland’s style of play – which was termed ‘Warrenball’ – was often criticised for being too structured and predictable and at odds with traditional Welsh flair.
Pivac adopted a more adventurous approach during his successful spell as Scarlets head coach between 2014 and 2019 when the west Wales region were lauded for their attacking play.
Former Wales outside-half Stephen Jones – who was drafted in by Gatland at the World Cup after his long-time lieutenant Rob Howley was sent home from Japan – will be the attack coach after working with Pivac at the Scarlets.
“Hopefully people will see a bit of a difference as Steve likes to throw the ball wide,” Tipuric said.
“I’m not sure whether we’ll see loads of it on Saturday.
“It might take a bit of time going into the Six Nations, but it will be nice to have a hit out and try and put those things together.”
Tipuric was speaking at a joint pre-match press conference as the Wales women’s team will kick-off a Principality Stadium double-header by playing their own fixture against a Barbarians XV.
“It’s great to play alongside the men and play on an equal footing,” said Wales women’s team captain Siwan Lillicrap.
“It’s an opportunity for Wales to get behind both teams and hopefully we’ll see more of this in the future.
“What the Welsh Rugby Union is doing with the hubs and throughout Wales is outstanding. To see two captains and two teams will give that want and desire to play for your country.”