Warburton returns to lead Wales

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 12:35
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Regular captain Sam Warburton returns to the Welsh starting line-up as one of three changes to the side to face Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Regular captain Sam Warburton returns to the Welsh starting line-up as one of three changes to the side to face Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

The Cardiff Blues flank, regional teammate Gethin Jenkins and Newport Gwent Dragons second row forward Andrew Coombs come into the side that kicked off the defence of their Six Nations title with victory against Italy last weekend.

Jenkins comes into the front row and will win his 102nd Wales cap a the Aviva Stadium alongside Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones (both Ospreys).

In the second row Coombs, who made his debut against Ireland 12 months ago replaces Luke Charteris, who is ruled out with a hamstring injury and he will partner Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) who led Wales to their opening day victory.

Warburton, who featured off the bench against the Azzurri, starts at openside flank alongside Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro) and Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Since making his Six Nations debut at the Aviva Stadium in 2012 Faletau has started every match in the competition for Wales.

The backline remains unchanged for the trip across the Irish sea.

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny will win his 50th cap aged just 25.

He again lines up in a back three alongside Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) and George North (Northampton Saints) for a 12th straight time in the Six Nations.

Try scorer at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday, Scott Williams (Scarlets), and Racing Metro's Jamie Roberts continue their partnership in the midfield, with Rhys Priestland (No.10, Scarlets) and Mike Phillips (No.9, Racing Metro) featuring at halfback.

"It's great to bring Sam and Gethin back into the side and it's a good opportunity for Andrew Coombs to start as well," said coach warren Gatland.

"Last weekend was a good hit out for a lot of reasons, but we still have things to work on and we know how important this game is.

"We haven't lost an away match in the Six Nations since 2011 and we have to have the belief and confidence that we can do it again this weekend.


"It's going to be tough, both sides won their opening game, we will have to be physical and take it to them.
"We feel in most tournaments we get stronger as it goes on and that will need to be the case this weekend."

On the bench Paul James (Bath Rugby) will win his 50th cap if he takes to the field and he is joined amongst the replacements by Scarlets front row duo Ken Owens and Rhodri Jones.

Uncapped Scarlets second row Jake Ball features in a matchday squad for the first time and is named alongside Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), James Hook (Perpignan) and Liam Williams (Scarlets).

Wales: 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 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 James Hook, 23 Liam Williams.

Date: Saturday, February 8
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 14.30 (14,30 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), JP Doyle (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 2 2 0 0 8
Ireland 2 1 0 1 6
Wales 2 1 0 1 5
France 2 1 0 1 5
Scotland 2 1 0 1 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0