WALES have welcomed back inspirational captain Sam Warburton for Saturday’s Six Nations crunch match against England at Twickenham.
Warburton, who missed their most recent fixture against Scotland with a dead leg, is one of three changes to the team that maintained their 100 per cent start.
Experienced lock Alun-Wyn Jones, who has not played a Test since last year’s World Cup, returns in place of Ryan Jones, who had been acting as skipper. Hooker Ken Owens is set for his first start, with Matthew Rees and Huw Bennett injured, as Wales look to complete the Triple Crown.
The return of Warburton, who starred in the team’s run to the World Cup semi-finals, underlines the scale of the task facing Stuart Lancaster’s emerging England.
Interim head coach Lancaster has guided a youthful, new-look team to Six Nations wins in Scotland and Italy but faces by far his sternest examination this weekend. He too has fit-again stars to call on in fly-half Toby Flood, centre Manu Tuilagi and lock Courtney Lawes, but must decide whether they are ready to start.
Lancaster has profited from putting faith in youngsters such as Saracens pair Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt, who have played integral roles in earning two wins from two.
But the erstwhile Saxons coach, who is bidding to land the job permanently, must, like his own bosses, decide whether big names outweigh promising newcomers.