Wales coach Rob Howley leaves Andrew Coombs out of game against Scotland
Last Updated: March 5, 2013 4:54pm
Wales coach Rob Howley has some sympathy for lock Andrew Coombs after leaving him out of Saturday's Six Nations clash against Scotland.
The 28-year-old delivered impressive displays during his first three Test match appearances when the reigning Six Nations champions lost to Ireland, but then beat France and Italy.
"Andrew Coombs can be extremely proud of his performances - he has been outstanding."
Wales coach Rob Howley
However, Howley has plumped for the experience of Ospreys talisman Alun-Wyn Jones instead of the Newport Gwent Dragons forward, who has to settle for a place on the bench despite being the country's find of the campaign.
"The attributes of physicality and experience will be pretty important on Saturday, particularly in the front five," Howley said.
"Andrew Coombs can be extremely proud of his performances - he has been outstanding.
"As I said to him this morning, he couldn't have done anything more, and the fact that a British Lion with 68 caps is coming in to replace him I think shows how well Andrew has done.
"Alun-Wyn has been an integral part of this squad over the last few years. I am sure we will use all his experience on Saturday."
Howley has also opted to keep Ryan Jones as skipper despite the return of last season's Grand Slam captain Sam Warburton to the starting line-up.
"Ryan (Jones) has led the team to two wins and deserves to captain the side against Scotland," Howley said.
"I don't see any reason to change the dynamics. Ryan has been a great leader over the last two or three weeks.
"I explained that situation to Sam. Obviously, he is disappointed. It is about the team dynamics, it is about how Ryan has led.
"We have spoken a lot about momentum in this tournament, and we go into the game with two wins under our belt, but Scotland are in the same position and it's going to be a good challenge."