Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Warburton back for Wales

Sam Warburton has recovered from injury and will captain Wales when they bid for the Triple Crown against RBS 6 Nations title rivals England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Cardiff Blues flanker missed Wales' 27-13 victory over Scotland due to a thigh problem that forced him off at half-time against Ireland in Dublin a week earlier.

But Warburton is now back to lead a team showing three changes from the one that saw off Scotland.

Wales' World Cup skipper replaces Aaron Shingler in the back row, while fit-again lock Alun-Wyn Jones is preferred to Ryan Jones and hooker Ken Owens gains his first Wales start.

Owens, who made his Test debut during last autumn's World Cup campaign, is promoted off the bench as calf muscle strains sideline both Huw Bennett and Matthew Rees.

Sale Sharks forward Andy Powell drops off the bench and there is no place in the matchday 22 either for Shingler or lock Lou Reed.

The Wales back division is unchanged for the third successive Six Nations game, with wing George North having shrugged off an ankle injury that meant he made an early exit against Scotland.

Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard, who was called into Wales' training squad two days ago, will provide bench cover for Owens.

Wales team: L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), G North (Scarlets); R Priestland (Scarlets), M Phillips (Bayonne); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), K Owens (Scarlets), A Jones (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), I Evans (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: R Hibbard (Ospreys), P James (Ospreys), R Jones (Ospreys), J Tipuric (Ospreys), L Williams (Cardiff Blues), J Hook (Perpignan), S Williams (Scarlets).


From Belfast Telegraph