Dan Lydiate to captain Wales against Italy with Sam Warburton ruled out
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 18/03/16 2:41pm
Flanker Dan Lydiate will captain Wales against Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday, with Sam Warburton given more time to recover from concussion.
Lydiate will lead the team for the first time in a Test match after Warburton was hurt towards the end of last week's defeat to England at Twickenham.
Luke Charteris, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb and Hallam Amos all come into the starting XV for the Cardiff match.
Tipuric replaces Warburton in the back row, with lock Charteris coming in for Alun Wyn Jones, who misses out with a heel injury.
In the backs Webb, who made a real impact after coming off the bench at Twickenham, starts at scrum-half with Gareth Davies dropped to the bench. Amos starts on the left wing, with George North moving to the right wing to replace Alex Cuthbert who has a foot injury.
Among the replacements, Gethin Jenkins returns to the matchday squad along with Jake Ball and Ross Moriarty.
Exeter prop Tomas Francis had been included on the bench prior to receiving an eight-week ban for 'making contact with the eye or eye area of England's Dan Cole' at Twickenham. Ospreys tighthead Aaron Jarvis will take his place in the squad.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: "This weekend it is all about finishing off the tournament well and putting in a big performance.
"We are disappointed with last week, especially the first half but a win on Saturday will see us finish the tournament in second and we have to aim for that now.
"There are a number of changes, a couple injury enforced. Alun Wyn Jones has a foot problem that we have been managing for a while and he has played a lot of games.
"We have given Sam Warburton the week off. We decided not to push him through all the return-to-play protocols and we have also been managing a heel injury with Alex Cuthbert so Hallam comes onto the left wing.
"It's good to see Rhys Webb back and starting, it's a good opportunity for him. Saturday is a good chance for some of the players to redeem themselves and we are looking for a big performance.
"I've been involved in a couple of times when Dan Lydiate has captained the midweek sides and he jumped at the opportunity this weekend and it will be good to see how he goes."
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Scott Baldwin, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Bradley Davies, 5 Luke Charteris, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gareth Anscombe.