Six Nations: Dan Lydiate captain as Wales make four changes

Dab Lydiate
Dan Lydiate has made 55 appearances for Wales
Six Nations: Wales v Italy
Date: Saturday, 19 March Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Flanker Dan Lydiate will captain Wales against Italy in the Six Nations in the absence of the injured Sam Warburton.

Justin Tipuric comes into the back row in place of Warburton, who was concussed in the loss to England.

Scrum-half Rhys Webb's first start since last September, at the expense of Gareth Davies, is the only unenforced change by coach Warren Gatland.

Lock Luke Charteris and wing Hallam Amos replace the injured Alun Wyn Jones and Alex Cuthbert respectively.

Loose-head prop Gethin Jenkins returns to the bench in place of Paul James and Gloucester's Ross Moriarty provides back-row cover.

Tight-head Tomas Francis was initially named among the replacements but his place will be taken by Aaron Jarvis after the Exeter prop was banned for eight weeks after appearing to touch the eye area of England's Dan Cole on Saturday.

Six Nations table

Lydiate, 28, previously captained Wales in a midweek match against EP Kings during the summer tour of South Africa in 2014, having led the 2013 British and Irish Lions - also coached by Gatland - to a 35-0 win over Melbourne Rebels.

It is Ospreys half-back Webb's first start for his country since he suffered a foot injury in Wales's final World Cup warm-up game against Italy last autumn.

Wales can secure second place in the final Six Nations table with victory over the Azzurri, who have lost four matches out of four so far in this tournament.

This weekend's Six Nations schedule
Date (All times GMT)FixtureCoverage
Sat, 19 Mar (14:30 KO)Wales v ItalyBBC One, S4C and BBC Radio
Sat, 19 Mar (17:00 KO)Ireland v ScotlandITV and BBC Radio
Sat, 19 Mar, (20:00 KO)France v EnglandBBC One and BBC Radio

"This weekend it is all about finishing off the tournament well and putting in a big performance," said Gatland.

"It's good to see Rhys [Webb] back and starting, it's a good opportunity for him.

"Saturday is a good chance for some of the players to redeem themselves and we are looking for a big performance.

"I've been involved in a couple of times when Dan [Lydiate] has captained the midweek sides and he jumped at the opportunity this weekend and it will be good to see how he goes."

Wales team: Liam Williams; Hallam Amos, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin, Samson Lee, Bradley Davies, Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate (capt), Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Aaron Jarvis, Jake Ball, Ross Moriarty, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Anscombe.

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