Wales recall Warburton but keep Ryan Jones as captain
Wales recalled grand slam winning captain Sam Warburton to the starting lineup for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Scotland but retained Ryan Jones as skipper after two successive away victories.
Warburton, who started on the bench in the 26-9 win over Italy on Feb. 23 after missing the previous round victory over France with a shoulder injury, replaces Justin Tipuric at openside flanker to join Jones and number eight Toby Faletau in the backrow.
British and Irish Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones returns to the starting XV after injury to partner Ian Evans in place of Andrew Coombs while Paul James takes over at loosehead prop from Gethin Jenkins, who has failed to recover from a calf injury sustained in the Italy match.
Interim head coach Rob Howley has named an unchanged backline for a match in which his team will attempt to become the first Wales side to win five successive away victories in the tournament.
“We have had two good, hard-fought away victories but we know we will have to be at our best again to come away from Murrayfield with the result,” Howley told the Welsh Rugby Union website (www.wru.co.uk).
“It’s disappointing for Gethin to miss out but Paul has impressed and made an impact in each game he has played.
“We are bringing in a wealth of experience with Alun Wyn and Sam and they both performed well off the bench in Rome. Ryan has led the team to two wins and deserves to captain the side against Scotland.”
Wales, who lost their opening match to Ireland before defeating France and Italy, are second in the standings with Scotland behind unbeaten England.
Team: 15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-George North, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Mike Phillips, 8-Toby Faletau, 7-Sam Warburton, 6-Ryan Jones (captain), 5-Ian Evans, 4-Alun Wyn Jones, 3-Adam Jones, 2-Richard Hibbard, 1-Paul James.
Replacements: 16-Ken Owens, 17-Scott Andrews, 18-Craig Mitchell, 19-Andrew Coombs, 20-Justin Tipuric, 21-Lloyd Williams, 22-James Hook, 23-Scott Williams.