Six Nations

Warburton benched by Wales

2014-01-28 15:02
Sam Warburton (File)

Cardiff - Alun Wyn Jones will captain defending champions Wales in their Six Nations opener against Italy on Saturday, with Sam Warburton on the bench, the Welsh Rugby Union announced on Tuesday.

Ospreys skipper Jones, who last captained Wales against Italy in 2009, leads a side bidding to win an unprecedented third consecutive Six Nations crown.

He takes over from Cardiff Blues flanker Warburton, who recently spent two months on the sidelines with a shoulder problem.

Warburton may, however, be handed a starting berth after Racing-Metro's Dan Lydiate had to fly to Paris on Tuesday morning.

Lydiate's partner is due to give birth and the flanker has travelled back to France to be with her, placing his participation in Saturday's match in doubt.

Elsewhere, Lydiate's clubmate Jamie Roberts returns at centre after missing last year's November Tests due to injury, with the Scarlets' Rhys Priestland edging out Dan Biggar of Ospreys at fly-half.

Bath prop Paul James replaces injured Cardiff front-rower Gethin Jenkins and Perpignan's Luke Charteris takes over from the suspended Ian Evans in the second row.

"We are looking for a good start," said head coach Warren Gatland in a statement released by the WRU. "We started slowly last year (losing 30-22 at home to Ireland) and know we need to be ready from the off.

"Italy started last year's tournament with a win over France so they will be ready on Saturday and we need to start well and build confidence and momentum.

"It's a strong, experienced side, but there was a lot of discussion about the selection, which is a great position to be in as a coach. We've almost everyone fit for selection, which is pretty rare.

"Alun Wyn will lead the side, with Sam starting on the bench and he has come through training well."

Joining Warburton among the replacements is Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb, who is named in a Six Nations match squad for the first time.

Wales team announced on Tuesday to play Italy in the opening Six Nations match at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday

Kick-off at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday is at 16:30 SA time.



15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Andrew Coombs, 20 Sam Warburton, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 James Hook, 23 Liam Williams



Read more on:    italy  |  wales  |  six nations  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will win the 2016 Six Nations title?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.