Captain Sam Warburton will start against Ireland in Wales' Six Nations opener - Ruck

Captain Sam Warburton will start against Ireland in Wales’ Six Nations opener

  • Captain Sam Warburton is named in starting XV despite fitness worries 
  • There is no place in the matchday 23 fro Liam Williams who misses out altogether
  • Rob Evans selection means record cap-holder Gethin Jenkins finds himself on the bench
Warren Gatland has confirmed his starting XV for Wales RBS Six Nations opener against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday.

It’s an exciting looking team and is somewhat of a strong selection from Gatland.

The likes of Rob Evans and Tom James are surprise selections but have been in fine form for their respective regions.

“We are excited by the make-up of the squad, it’s very experienced along with one eye looking to the future.” revealed Gatland.

“Rob (Evans) gets a start at loose-head, he’s played well for us before and deserves a chance looking ahead to the next few years.

“We have been impressed with Tom James’ form for Cardiff Blues, and we are excited by the mix of the back-row which has played well together before.

“It’s great to see Jonathan (Davies) back and alongside Jamie, which makes a pretty experienced midfield.

“Gareth (Anscombe) at full-back also gives us the option of having two first receivers.” added Gatland.

“We have a very experienced bench, with a lot of caps there and hopefully they will come on and make an impact. It’s going to be a physical game.

“Two years ago they strangled us out of the match and played well, and we have to rise to that challenge on Sunday.”

Wales: Gareth Anscombe; George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Tom James; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton (capt), Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, Alex Cuthbert.
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