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Sam Warburton starts for Wales against Italy

Meanwhile, scrum-half Rhys Webb has been recalled after missing most of the November programme through injury.

Wales' Sam Warburton.
Wales' Sam Warburton.

FORMER CAPTAIN SAM Warburton will start for Wales against Italy after being included in interim coach Rob Howley’s side for their Six Nations opener in Rome on Sunday.

Having been replaced as Wales captain by Alun Wyn Jones, there had been speculation that Warburton, who had been struggling with injuries lately, could lose his position in a highly competitive Welsh back-row.

But he was included at blindside flanker alongside openside Justin Tipuric and No 8 Ross Moriarty as the uncapped Thomas Young missed out.

Meanwhile, scrum-half Rhys Webb was recalled after missing most of the November programme through injury, with Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies in midfield and 86 times-capped centre Jamie Roberts on the bench.

Up front, Howley has brought in Ospreys loosehead prop Nicky Smith to replace the injured Gethin Jenkins.

Wales 

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. George North
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Scott Williams
11. Liam Williams
10. Dan Biggar
9. Rhys Webb

1. Nicky Smith
2. Ken Owens
3. Samson Lee
4. Jake Ball
5. Alun Wyn Jones
6. Sam Warburton
7. Justin Tipuric
8. Ross Moriarty

Replacements

16. Scott Baldwin
17. Rob Evans
18. Tomas Francis
19. Cory Hill
20. James King
21. Gareth Davies
22. Sam Davies
23. Jamie Roberts

© – AFP 2017

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