Six Nations 2013: Jenkins leads Wales in championship decider
Six Nations 2013: Prop Gethin Jenkins will captain Wales on his return to the side for their championship decider against England
Gethin Jenkins is set to captain Wales on his return to the starting line-up for their Six Nations decider with England on Saturday.
Jenkins, capped 97 times, will lead Wales for the fifth time with Paul James dropping out of the front row and Justin Tipuric coming in the back row in place of injured Ryan Jones.
Sam Warburton, who captained Wales to their third Six Nations Grand Slam in eight years 12 months ago, switches to blindside with Tipuric coming in at No7.
After recovering from their opening 30-22 defeat by Ireland, Wales now have their sights trained on defending their title, following three consecutive wins on the road in Rome, Paris and Edinburgh.
They will welcome an England side to the Millennium Stadium, bidding for a first Grand Slam since 2003 but should Rob Howley’s side clinch victory by eight points or more, they will lift the trophy.
A seven-point win would still see them crowned champions, provided they maintain their advantage over England in the try-scoring charts, and Howley believes his side deserve their shot at glory after their impressive run on the road.
“The players have worked very hard to put themselves in this position for Saturday, with three hard fought victories on the road,” said Howley.
“Gethin comes back in and will captain the side and his leadership will be invaluable.
“Saturday is a big finale for the tournament but we have a very experienced squad, who have been in this position before, that have played in big games and that will be important come kick-off.”
With the only two changes for Wales coming in the pack, the back seven are unchanged for the fifth consecutive match and Mike Phillips will become his country’s most capped scrum-half, passing Dwayne Peel’s record of 76.
And on the bench, James takes his place among the replacements, as does Aaron Shingler, who takes the place vacated by Tipuric.