Warburton in doubt for 'decider'
Wednesday 07 March 2012
Sam Warburton, the Wales captain, fears he could miss the rest of his country's Grand Slam quest after being ruled out of Saturday's game against Italy in Cardiff. Warburton failed to recover from a knee ligament injury suffered during the victory over England at Twickenham 11 days ago.
The flanker now faces a race against time to play in what could be a Six Nations title decider against France on 17 March. Warburton said: "I don't know about next week. I hope so, because I'm desperate to play. I'm gutted to miss out on playing at the Millennium Stadium for the second time in this Six Nations."
Warburton will be particularly eager to settle a personal score with Les Bleus following his controversial red card against them in the World Cup semi-final five months ago. Justin Tipuric, 21, of the Ospreys, will make his first start at Test level when he deputises for the captain on Saturday.
However, Warburton will be encouraged by the recovery of centre Jamie Roberts from a similar injury to face the Azzurri in Cardiff. The Wales coach, Warren Gatland, said: "Initially Jamie was a big concern but he has fronted-up in training and there are no doubts over his fitness."
Hooker Matthew Rees makes his first appearance of the tournament after recovering from a calf injury and will form an all-Lions front-row with Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins, the new captain. Jenkins said: "It's great to add Matthew's experience to a young team that is full of confidence."
Wales L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, J Davies, J Roberts, G North; R Priestland, M Phillips; G Jenkins (capt), M Rees, A Jones, AW Jones, I Evans, D Lydiate, T Faletau, J Tipuric. Replacements K Owens, P James, L Charteris, R Jones, L Williams, JHook, S Williams.
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
Tottenham to use controversial blood-spinning technique to speed Jan Vertonghen return
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Transfer news: Wayne Rooney sparks Manchester United exit rumours after rejecting new contract talks - reports
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
- 4 Not all right on the night
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding