CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Former skipper Sam Warburton has been confirmed in the reserves for Wales' visit to Rome for this weekend's Six Nations rugby match against Italy.
Interim coach Rob Howley already rewarded the team which beat France 16-6, and ended Wales' eight-test losing streak, by naming it last week, 11 days before the Italy match this Saturday. On Tuesday, he revealed the reserves, with recalls for flanker Warburton and lock Alun-Wyn Jones, giving the bench a total of 264 caps. Both of them missed the France game with shoulder injuries.
During Wales' first win in Paris in eight years, flanker Ryan Jones was captain and Justin Tipuric wore No. 7. Welsh fans were already clamoring for Tipuric before the France game after Warburton's quiet effort in the opening home loss to Ireland.
Until this tournament, Warburton had been the undisputed leader of the Welsh, after taking them to the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup and the Six Nations Grand Slam a year ago. "On the bench we have brought in Sam and Alun-Wyn, which is a boost to the squad," Howley said.
"In France the players showed real determination and resilience and we will need that again in Rome."
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North, Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Toby Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Ryan Jones (captain), Ian Evans, Andrew Coombs, Adam Jones, Richard Hibbard, Gethin Jenkins. Reserves: Ken Owens, Paul James, Craig Mitchell, Alun-Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams.