News24

Warburton back for Wales

2012-02-21 15:30

Cardiff - Wales captain Sam Warburton has recovered from a thigh injury and will return to lead his team's Triple Crown Six Nations clash with England at Twickenham, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

Warburton suffered an injury in Wales' tournament-opening win over Ireland and was forced to miss the subsequent defeat of Scotland in Cardiff.

However the rampaging Cardiff flank has now returned to fitness and will spearhead Welsh attempts to wrap up the Triple Crown on English soil this weekend.

Warburton was one of three changes announced by coach Warren Gatland for the match.

Ospreys second row Alun Wyn Jones returns from a toe injury in place of Ryan Jones, who is relegated to the bench.

"A fit again Alun Wyn Jones is selected based on his Rugby World Cup form and his experience as an international lock," Gatland said.

"He gave us a selection dilemma but it has been a great problem to have and, whilst Ryan Jones is particularly unlucky to miss out on this occasion, this is just that kind of competition for places we have been striving for.

The final change sees Scarlets hooker Ken Owens make his first Test start after Huw Bennett suffered a calf injury.

"Ken Owens has been waiting patiently for his chance and whilst injuries elsewhere have meant he gets his opportunity this weekend and we are expecting him to take it," Gatland said.

Teams:

England:

15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero. Substitutes: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Courtney Lawes, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Mike Brown.

Wales:

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Michael Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Substitutes: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Paul James, 18 Ryan Jones, 19 Justin Tipuric, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Scott Williams.

AFP