Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Warburton's main priority is Scotland

Sam Warburton is back in the Wales side against Scotland

Sam Warburton insists that regaining the Wales captaincy will not be a personal motivating factor when he lines up against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

For the first time in almost two years, Warburton will start an RBS 6 Nations Test match and not be Wales skipper. That duty remains with his back-row colleague Ryan Jones - as it will for next week's England clash, barring injury or loss of form - after he helped orchestrate back-to-back away victories over France and Italy.

Wales boss Rob Howley admitted that Warburton, who is seven years Jones' junior and has won exactly half his 72 caps, was left "disappointed" by the decision. But Wales' 2011 World Cup captain, who led them to Six Nations title glory and a Grand Slam last season, said: "My focus right now is making sure I do myself justice and play well at the weekend."

He added: "Getting the captaincy back won't be a motivating factor. It will just be to play well for the side. Ryan has done a great job over the last two weeks and I don't see any need to change the team dynamics.

"It has obviously worked for us over the last couple of weekends, but Rob's said I can still have an input. It's not just Ryan on his own - he needs other guys.

"I might look closely at the contact area and how the referee is managing that, Adam Jones the scrum and Alun-Wyn (Jones) the lineout. It just makes sense to keep Ryan as captain.

"It's a position that is interchangeable and there are probably six or seven guys doing some form of leadership.

"Ryan is the best captain I've played under, so I have no qualms with him leading the side. He has a wealth of experience and tactically he's very clued-in.

"He's been around a lot longer than a lot of the players and when it comes to tactical decisions he reads referees well, has a good relationship with a lot of them in the way he talks to them and is a very good motivator.

"It comes with experience. I learn things all the time. The more you play the more you pick up these things."

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