Howley shuffles bench for Italy Test
February 19, 2013
Alun Wyn Jones and Sam Warburton will both look to make an impact for Wales from the bench on Saturday © PA Photos
Howley has opted to name the same XV that beat France on February 9 but he has opted to draft in two fresh faces on the bench. Warburton, who missed the win against Les Bleus due to a shoulder injury, will hope to make an impact from the replacements while second-row Jones is also given the nod.
Jones suffered a shoulder injury during the autumn defeat to Argentina, but made his return to action for the Ospreys as a substitute in their RaboDirect PRO12 win at Ulster on February 8. The return of Jones, who has 67 caps to his name, is a major boost for Wales, who are without second-rows Bradley Davies and Luke Charteris through injury.
Warburton comes into the 23-man squad in place of Aaron Shingler while Jones replaces Lou Reed. Howley confirmed last week that he was retaining the same XV that beat the French ahead of their match against Italy and he has called on the team to show the same resilience in Rome on Saturday.
"The side is fit and raring to go and on the bench we have brought in Sam [Warburton] and Alun Wyn [Jones], who have both returned from injury which is a boost to the squad," Howley said. "In France the players showed real determination and resilience and we will need that again in Rome.
"Italy have already showed so far in this campaign what they are capable of, so we know the challenge we will be facing on Saturday."
Wales team to face Italy:
Leigh Halfpenny. Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North, Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Andrew Coombs, Ian Evans, Ryan Jones (captain), Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau
Replacements: Ken Owens, Paul James, Craig Mitchell, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports