Six Nations 2013: Warburton focused on back-row battle

RBS SIX NATIONS: SCOTLAND V WALES

  • Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
  • Date: Saturday, 9 March
  • Kick-off: 14:30 GMT

Coverage: Watch on BBC One, HD & Online; Listen on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC 5 live Sports Extra & online; live text commentary online; highlights & analysis on Scrum V Six Nations Special on Sunday, 10 March from 19:00 GMT, and BBC Two 23:35

Sam Warburton insists he will be motivated by trying to beat Scotland and not regaining the Wales captaincy when the teams meet in the Six Nations on Saturday.

It is the first time in almost two years that the Blues flanker will start for Wales and not lead the team.

Ryan Jones is captain, and Warburton is happy to be back in the side.

"Getting the captaincy back won't be a motivating factor. It will just be to play well for the side," he said.

Jones took over the captaincy when Warburton missed the 16-6 victory over France in Paris because of a shoulder injury.

And the Osprey retained the captain's armband when Warburton lost out to Justin Tipuric for a starting spot against Italy in Rome .

Tipuric drops to the bench for Saturday's visit to Murrayfield, with Warburton drafted in to combat the Scots' physical presence in the back row.

Sam Warburton's captaincy facts

  • Warburton took over as Wales captain for the match against the Barbarians in Cardiff on 4 June, 2011.
  • He has led Wales 20 times, with the team winning on eight occasions
  • Five of those wins came in the 2012 Six Nations championship when Wales won the Grand Slam.

"The Scottish back row is very big and physical, so maybe that has influenced the decision to play me at seven," he said.

"That is a challenge I really enjoy. Every time we play Scotland a focal point is always the battle of the back rows because theirs is so good.

"We know it will be a big job for me, Toby (Faletau) and Ryan (Jones) to nullify their threats.

"We will try to figure out a way to get the better of them over the next few days because that back-row battle is so important now in the modern game.

"It will be a big area for us as a team to win that back-row battle."

Wales interim coach Rob Howley admitted that Warburton was left "disappointed" by the captaincy decision.

But the flanker, who captained Wales in the 2011 World Cup and led them to a Six Nations Grand Slam last season, said he was happy to work under Jones.

"Ryan is the best captain I've played under, so I have no qualms with him leading the side. He has a wealth of experience and tactically he's very clued in," he said.