Wales v Argentina: Sam Warburton happy to play under captain Gethin Jenkins

Media playback is not supported on this device

Sam Warburton has no problems playing for captain Gethin Jenkins
Wales Under Armour Test series - Wales v Argentina
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 12 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Live BBC television and radio commentary; also on the BBC Sport website and app, plus live text commentaries

Regular Wales captain Sam Warburton has no problem playing in a team led by Gethin Jenkins against Argentina.

Blues flanker Warburton returns after missing the opening autumn series game against Australia.

Prop Jenkins will break the world record for test appearances by a front row forward and retains the captaincy.

"[Coach] Rob Howley said he was going to stick with Gethin and thought it was important I focussed on my role, which I completely agree with," he said.

"It is a big task being captain. To come back and do that would have been more difficult than just to come back and concentrate on my role at six.

"I'll still try to influence the players during the week and during the game but it's nice for me that I can just focus on the blindside and making sure we improve from last week."

Warburton played 80 minutes for the Blues against Treviso on the eve of Wales' 32-8 defeat by Australia as he came back from shoulder and neck injuries.

Howley has made six changes to the team beaten by Australia, dropping centre Jamie Roberts to the bench for the first time since March 2009 and retaining Jenkins as captain in his 133rd Test match.

Justin Tipuric and Sam Warburton
Justin Tipuri and Sam Warburton played together in the World Cup match against Australia in 2011

Two open side flankers

Warburton will play on the blindside of the scrum with Ospreys' Justin Tipuric wearing the number seven jersey.

It's a combination which worked in the 2013 Six Nations decider against England when Wales were captained by Gethin Jenkins and won 30-3.

"I've always enjoyed playing with Justin," said Warburton.

"We do it at the Blues with Ellis Jenkins and myself there. It's a tactical decision and it's more attacking, you get two people who are aggressive over the ball and it's someone to back me up in the contact area.

"I enjoy that combination and I'm looking forward to see how it goes on Saturday."

Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins
Gethin Jenkins was Wales captain when Wales clinched the 2013 Six Nations title against England

Gethin Jenkins' captaincy qualities

Warburton has captained Wales 48 times - 15 times more than next-highest captain Ryan Jones.

He was also captain of the 2013 British and Irish Lions but said Jenkins' commitment, tactical knowledge and experience make him ideally qualified to lead the team.

"When it comes to naming the best players I've played with Gethin will definitely be up there," he said.

"He's in the top category of Wales' greatest players.

"Two or three years ago people were saying he was slowing down but I haven't seen him slowing down at all. In training or in games."

Jenkins will be making his 133rd Test appearance - 128 for Wales and five for the Lions - to take him past the 133 Tests of ex-New Zealand hooker Keven Mealamu.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Wales v Argentina: Glyn Turner scores Wales' first try against Pumas in 1968

The dropping of Jamie Roberts

Howley said Wales' defensive frailties against Australia played a big part in the decision to drop Jamie Roberts - Wales' defence captain - to the bench against the Pumas.

Warburton said it was a reminder to all the players about the importance of maintaining their performance.

"One thing you definitely can't have in international rugby is complacency. I don't think any of the players are and Rob's just reminded everybody that that's the case," he added.

"I've always known that every game I take the field for Wales you have to put in a good performance or run the risk of not being there next weekend.

"I don't think Jamie should have the finger pointed at him. Scott Williams is a fantastic player and has played exceptionally well for many years.

"For me you could pick Jamie, Jon [Davies] Scott or any combination between the three of them and it wouldn't bother me.

"It's good that we have these decisions to make. Take a look at the back row, Dan Lydiate's missed out because James King's been playing fantastically well for the Ospreys and we still haven't got Toby [Faletau] fit.

"They're good problems to have. I'd rather be having these conversations than not."

Top Stories