Six Nations: Sam Warburton out of Wales side against Scotland

Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton has won 25 Wales caps

Wales captain Sam Warburton has been forced to withdraw from Wales' Six Nations clash with Scotland in Cardiff.

The Cardiff Blues open-side had been troubled by a dead leg sustained in last week's win in Ireland.

Warburton had been named to start but withdrew just before kick-off on Sunday, so Aaron Shingler takes his place in the starting XV on debut.

Ryan Jones, who wins his 60th cap, will captain Wales and moves to lock with Bradley Davies banned.

Dan Lydiate returns to the back-row following an ankle injury and prop Gethin Jenkins returns from a knee injury to take over from Rhys Gill.

James Hook is again on the bench as Alex Cuthbert has recovered from the head knock suffered in their dramatic opening 23-21 win in Ireland.

Warburton's late withdrawal is a headache for coach Warren Gatland as his reserve open-side Justin Tipuric has also been an injury doubt, so Scarlet Shingler comes straight into the side.

Tipuric replaced Cardiff Blue Warburton in Dublin, but sustained an ankle injury and was not even fit enough to make the bench for Scotland's visit to Cardiff.

Lydiate has played at open-side and after Warburton was banned for a tip-tackle in Wales' World Cup semi-final defeat by France, Toby Faletau took over for the bronze-medal loss to Australia.

Scarlets lock Lou Reed could make his Test debut off the bench amid the reshuffle caused by Blues' lock Davies' seven-week ban for his tip-tackle on Donncha Ryan at the Aviva Stadium.

In the longer term, Wales and British and Irish Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones (toe) returned to action off the bench in the Ospreys' 15-14 Pro12 win at Edinburgh on Friday.

With Luke Charteris (wrist) out of Six Nations contention, Jones' recovery should be a timely boost for Gatland.

Loose-head prop Jenkins' return and Paul James' ability to cover both sides of the scrum off the bench means Gill drops out altogether.

There is still no place in the match squad for Gavin Henson, who played for Cardiff Blues in the LV= Cup against Harlequins last weekend.

Gatland said: "Gethin brings a wealth of experience to the team, which is the main reason we have brought him in for Rhys, who is unlucky to miss out with Paul James covering both sides of the scrum from the bench.

"Dan's return from injury is timely and Ryan's versatility allows us to cover for Bradley with minimum disruption, with Lou Reed also giving us an extra option from the bench.

"We cannot afford to underestimate Scotland.

"The amount of possession and territory they had against England last weekend meant that they should have won the game and they will come to the Millennium Stadium buoyed by that knowledge."

Wales backs coach Rob Howley said: "The standards we set in Dublin where high and we want to attain that level throughout the Six Nations.

"We are playing particularly well at the moment, and it was a pleasing performance from the backs, we were accurate and took our opportunities well.

"The Six Nations is a magical championship and the one thing we all know is that if you don't front up in a Six Nations game you can get beaten.

"Scotland should have beaten England at the weekend, they will be obviously disappointed and they will want to go one better, which would obviously mean winning the game, so we must be ready for them."

Wales coach Warren Gatland is still without Matthew Rees (calf) and the British and Irish Lions hooker expects to be available for Wales' visit to Twickenham to face England on 25 February.

Cuthbert was replaced at half-time in Dublin after suffering a blow to the head on his first full start.


Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), George North (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne); Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Toby Faletau (Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Ospreys), Lou Reed (Scarlets), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks), Lloyd Williams (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Scott Williams (Scarlets).


Backs: Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Gavin Henson (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Lee Bryne (Clermont Auvergne)

Forwards: Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Ospreys), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Lou Reed (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Sam Warburton (capt, Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets).

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