Sam Warburton will captain Wales under Rob Howley
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 23/09/16 4:24pm
Interim Wales head coach Rob Howley has confirmed that Sam Warburton will continue to captain the side this season.
The 27-year-old flanker has already skippered Wales more often than any other player and led the Lions on their successful tour of Australia in 2013.
And the Cardiff Blues man is sure to be among the candidates to lead the Lions again on their tour to New Zealand next summer.
Warren Gatland will be the Lions head coach and will be preparing for the tour over the winter so Howley will take charge of Wales this season.
But Howley will not be changing his captain for the autumn Tests against Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa, in the belief that Warburton remains the best option.
"Sam Warburton is a great captain," said Howley. "He captained the Lions, he will continue to captain Wales.
"I have spoken to Sam already, and he will captain us for the autumn series and into the Six Nations.
"I believe at this moment in time that Sam Warburton is the best captain to take us forward.
"He has, of course, done it (led the Lions) once, and I am sure he is in other people's thoughts to captain again, but the challenge for all players will be the autumn series and the Six Nations."
In the Six Nations, Howley, Warburton and Wales will be up against an England side who have been revitalised by head coach Eddie Jones and won the Grand Slam last season before claiming a 3-0 series victory in Australia.
"It's a challenge for ourselves, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy," said Howley. "Eddie Jones has come in and they have played nine, won nine.
"Eddie said that England should win (or challenge for) the championship every year, so it's for all of us to do something about it and make sure we challenge that area.
"It was great to see their three Tests over in Australia. They've got their house in order under Eddie, and it is something we look forward to.
"It's at the Principality Stadium (Wales v England, February 11), and it's a date in the calendar."