Six Nations 2014: Sam Warburton back to captain Wales 'after 15 minutes'

 

Sam Warburton will once again lead out Wales on Saturday, after being recalled to the starting line-up against Ireland in Dublin despite playing just 15 minutes of rugby in the past nine weeks.

A lack of match fitness meant Warburton, back from a shoulder injury picked up in the autumn, started last weekend's 23-15 victory over Italy on the bench but, after replacing Dan Lydiate late in the second half, he insisted he was ready to return full-time.

Warburton is one of three changes from the opening weekend, his recall meaning Justin Tipuric drops to the bench. A hamstring injury has forced Luke Charteris out of the match-day squad altogether, with Alex Coombes taking his place.

The only other change in the starting XV is Gethin Jenkins, not risked as a fitness precaution against the Azzurri, earning his 102nd cap for his country in place of Paul James. Meanwhile, uncapped lock Jake Ball is among the replacements.

Warburton, who will give the honour of leading out the side to Leigh Halfpenny for his 50th Test for Wales, insisted his injury lay-off will have no impact as the visitors look to stretch their remarkable away record in the Six Nations to six straight victories. "I'm quite used to not playing for a few months and getting back into it," he said. "It maybe takes a game to get the breakdown. I'm glad I've had that, to get rid of the cobwebs. I feel quite good."

The last time the home side won this fixture was in 2011 when Wales were victorious 19-13 at the Millennium Stadium. Since then, both sides have recorded an away win each, Ireland coming out on top 30-22 in Cardiff last year.

Gatland, for his part, is hopeful that sequence of events will continue on Saturday. "Ireland against Wales has tended to favour the away side," he said. "Hopefully we can do that again."

Gatland, who coached Ireland from 1998 to 2001, has called on his players to be "directors" against the Irish and to employ the sort of direct game that was lacking in the first half when the sides last met.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before