Six Nations 2013: Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric in line to start for Wales against England
Warburton likely to regain captaincy for Six Nations decider in Cardiff
Tuesday 12 March 2013
Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric could both start in Wales' RBS 6 Nations title showdown against England at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
And Warburton looks poised to regain the captaincy, with current skipper Ryan Jones struggling because of a shoulder injury.
Jones returned home from Edinburgh - scene of Wales' third successive Six Nations away win this season - with his right arm in a sling. He was due to undergo a scan yesterday.
Tipuric replaced Jones when he went off at Murrayfield, and together with fellow openside specialist Warburton secured a prodigious amount of turnover ball for their team.
"I thought Sam and Justin worked very well together in Scotland," Wales assistant coach and defence specialist Shaun Edwards said.
"Sam got a couple of turnovers after Tips had done the chop tackle beforehand. They worked in combination, and that is what you need your back row to do - one will chop and the other will get on the ball.
"Tips is one of our best leg tacklers, and he did it excellently well, and they were both part of the great goal-line stance at the end when Scotland were battering away.
"The pair worked superbly well to create the turnovers."
One of England's biggest challenges this weekend promises to be unlocking a Wales defence that has not conceded a try in 275 minutes of Six Nations action - almost three and a half games.
Scotland went the same way as France and Italy in suffering shut-outs, but England have scored at least one try against Wales in 11 of the countries' 13 previous Six Nations meetings.
"The lads are very determined to concede the least tries in the competition. We've had a history of doing that in the last few years," Edwards added.
"We conceded the least number of tries last year, and hopefully we are going to concede the least tries this year. We are up against one of the biggest challenges, offensively, in England.
"Defence is a mixture of structure, getting the right people in the right positions as quickly as possible, tackle technique, pressure you put on the ball on the floor and in the air, while desire and courage have a lot to do with it, and fitness levels.
"Whenever we have had the players for any period of time, like the World Cup, our fitness staff have got them in tremendous condition and that shows in your defensive work, chasing back after kicks or when someone makes a break."
Wales boss Rob Howley is due to name his team on Thursday, when an unchanged back division for the fifth successive game should be confirmed.
And if Gethin Jenkins regains full fitness following a calf muscle injury - he is back in training - then Howley will need to decide between Jenkins, who started Wales' first three Six Nations Tests, and Bath's Paul James as his loosehead prop.
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