Six Nations: Forget captaincy... I'm just happy to be back says Sam Warburton

Wales take on Scotland this weekend

For Sam Warburton, one out of two is an ample return. The relieved former captain was restored to the Wales side for Saturday's trip to Murrayfield – a contest that must be won if they are to cling to any hope of retaining their Six Nations title – but Ryan Jones will continue to lead the side for the remainder of the Championships.

Warburton began the season as favourite to lead the Lions, but now he is grateful just to be back in the Welsh starting XV. He will collect his 37th cap against Scotland as part of a hugely experienced line-up, yet it will have the feel of his first after he missed the France game through injury and was then named on the bench against Italy.

"Getting the captaincy back won't be a motivating factor, it will just be to play well," said Warburton. "It almost feels like winning my first cap again because of the need to impress. That feeling is really good. Not knowing whether you are going to be playing each week definitely puts you on edge more."

Justin Tipuric is unfortunate to be returned to the bench, where he began the campaign against Ireland – one of three changes to the Welsh starting line-up. Paul James also replaces the injured Gethin Jenkins in the front row and Alan Wyn Jones returns for a 69th cap in the second row in place of Andrew Coombs, another marginal call by Rob Howley, the Wales interim head coach.

Tipuric's introduction against Ireland revitalised the Welsh performance and he may well have kept his place even if Warburton had not been ruled out of the France game with a shoulder problem. Warburton came off the bench to good effect in Rome but was by no means a shoo-in for Murrayfield.

"In a strange way it was nice to be on that edge when it comes to selection and not knowing what will happen," said Warburton. "That's what pushes you in training. I'm back at that stage and it's good because it makes you do the extras in the gym or on the pitch, you just do everything you can to get back in the team. When you hear your name it's obviously a relief. Rob said it was because he wanted more physicality at the breakdown, so I guess that is something I slightly edge Justin on."

Warburton described Jones, who Howley said would remain in charge against England barring injury or a meltdown in his performance, as "the best captain I've played under".

"Ryan has done a great job and I don't see any need to change the team dynamics," Warbuton said. "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 [can look at] the scrum and Alun Wyn the lineout."

It means Jones, one of 11 players in Wales' line-up with more caps than their opposite number, will extend his record run to 32 games in charge. "It is something I am fiercely proud of," he said. "It is a role I enjoy.

"When a call needs to be made it will be down to me, but Sam and others will be consulted at different times. They will certainly have input, not just in game-time, but in the lead-up to this game.

"It is an opportunity for Sam to concentrate on his own game, put all the other worries and stuff to one side and just go out and be the player we know he is."

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering