Six Nations: Gethin Jenkins back as Welsh captain allowing Sam Warburton to roam

 

Gethin Jenkins will captain Wales on the occasion of his 98th cap. The Toulon prop, who replaces Paul James in the front row against England, is preferred to former captain Sam Warburton following injury to Ryan Jones, who wore the armband against Scotland at Murrayfield.

The stand-in head coach, Rob Howley, insists that the decision was his, though it is understood that Warburton made it clear that he would prefer to concentrate on his own game rather than cope with the extra responsibilities that come with the captaincy.

"The way Sam played last week in Scotland, he just really enjoyed that preparation, getting man of the match. He didn't want to change anything. Gethin and Alun Wyn [Jones] are both experienced. Alun Wyn has come into this squad late and I felt he needed to concentrate on his game. Gethin is vastly experienced, has been captain many, many times.

"We are comfortable with the decision. Over the last couple of weeks we have spoken about leadership. It's not just about the captain but about unity within the squad. We are lucky to have a number of leaders who can step up. Gethin has the responsibility this weekend."

Howley was keen to emphasise the role in the decision-making played by Warburton, who started the Six Nations as favourite to take the Lions captaincy in Australia this summer. He insisted that Warburton was more than happy with the outcome.

"It is a conversation we have had. I've gauged Sam over the last three or four weeks. He has been outstanding when he hasn't been involved [as captain]. As I have said, it's about the team, being in the best form against England on Saturday. And that means Gethin as captain. His leadership will be invaluable."

Warburton will wear the No 6 jersey, with Justin Tipuric coming in at No 7 in place of Jones, who broke a bone in his shoulder during last weekend's victory over Scotland.

The freedom to roam unencumbered by the armband did Warburton no harm at Murrayfield last weekend, where he gave a man-of-the-match display. With the success in Scotland, Wales set a record of five successive away victories in the Six Nations, a statistic that contrasts sharply with their form at the Millennium Stadium, where they have yet to win this season.

Should they overcome by eight points or more an English team aiming for the Grand Slam, Wales will retain a championship that looked beyond them after the defeat to Ireland in Cardiff in the opening match. That loss was the eighth in a row for a group that won the Grand Slam themselves so commandingly a year ago.

England won the last of their 12 Grand Slams in 2003. To seal a 13th in Cardiff would be a first for the red rose, a detail Howley is keen to avoid. "Saturday is a big finale for the tournament, but we have a very experienced squad that has been in this position before and that has played in big games. That will be important, come kick-off."

Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
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

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game