Wales drop Roberts as Warburton and Jones return

Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones

Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones have both captained the British and Irish Lions

Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones return to the Wales team for Saturday’s game against Argentina, with centre Jamie Roberts dropped to the bench.

Both forwards missed last Saturday’s 32-8 defeat by Australia.

But Gethin Jenkins retains the captaincy in a team showing six changes with Liam Williams back on the wing and Leigh Halfpenny retained at full-back.

Tomas Francis comes in at tight-head with Gareth Davies at scrum-half for the injured Rhys Webb.

Harlequins centre Roberts’ last appearance for Wales as a replacement was against Ireland in March 2009.

Jones missed the match against Australia following the death of his father, Tim.

Interim coach Rob Howley said regular captain Warburton is being given a chance to concentrate on his game after recovering from shoulder and neck injuries.

“With Sam returning, we have spoken to him and we feel its best for him to focus purely on his performance and role on Saturday, leaving the captaincy with Gethin,” he said.


Gethin Jenkins and Sam Warburton are Cardiff Blues team-mates

Howley did the same thing during the 2013 Six Nations when Jenkins captained the team with Warburton at blindside flanker for the decisive 30-3 win against England.

Jenkins will break the record for appearances by a front-row forward as he makes his 128th appearance for Wales – taking his overall tally including Lions Test matches to 133 – one more than ex-New Zealand hooker Keven Mealamu.

The match also marks the 50th Wales Test appearance of fly-half Dan Biggar.

“In terms of achievements its great to see Dan win his 50th cap and also it’s a huge honour for Gethin as he becomes the World’s most capped front-row forward,” added Howley.

Second row Bradley Davies, who started against Australia, is injured and drops out of the match day 23, with Gareth Anscombe on the bench in place of Ospreys fly-half Sam Davies.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon); George North (Northampton), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, capt), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter), Luke Charteris (Bath), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons), James King (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins).

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