Wales suffer Jones blow
Captain misses out on trip to Dublin with Wales in Six Nations
Last Updated: March 9, 2010 2:04pm
Jones: Calf injury
Wales will be without captain Ryan Jones for Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash against Ireland in Dublin due to a calf injury.
"It is an opportunity for Martyn, who is one of our key leaders, to captain Wales again and rise to that challenge after doing a good job against Scotland last year when Ryan was again forced to withdraw."
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The Ospreys number eight will be replaced by Gloucester skipper Gareth Delve as one of three changes from the side beaten 26-20 by title favourites France last time out.
Flanker Martyn Williams will be elevated to Wales captain in Jones' absence, while there are starts for hooker Matthew Rees and lock Luke Charteris.
Rees will make his first Six Nations start of the season after recovering from injury, and he replaces Huw Bennett while Charteris comes in for the injured Deiniol Jones.
On the bench, Dwayne Peel provides scrum-half cover for Richie Rees after Mike Phillips suffered a knock during Ospreys' Magners League defeat against Edinburgh two days ago and was not available for selection.
And there is a place among the substitutes for experienced Ospreys lock Ian Gough as Wales look to revive their Six Nations campaign after recording one win from three starts.
"Ryan has been managing his calf, but it has hampered his involvement in training," Wales coach Warren Gatland said.
"He needs to get it right for his own sake, as well as for his region, who have some big matches of their own coming up, and for the sake of the national cause as we count down to the World Cup.
"But it is an opportunity for Martyn, who is one of our key leaders, to captain Wales again and rise to that challenge after doing a good job against Scotland last year when Ryan was again forced to withdraw.
"This is a great opportunity for Gareth Delve, who we have been keeping a close eye on and who is also a leader himself.
"We feel we have a loose forward trio here who will be competitive. Ireland are an impressive and experienced side with a pack of players who have been around for a long time and who are tough players.
"We know we need to improve, but we do think we have the talent and ability in this squad to match any squad and are confident we are good enough to win this match if we can get things right on the day."
Team: 15-Lee Byrne, 14-Leigh Halfpenny, 13-James Hook, 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-Shane Williams, 10-Stephen Jones, 9-Richard Rees, 8-Gareth Delve, 7-Martyn Williams (captain), 6-Jonathan Thomas, 5-Luke Charteris, 4-Bradley Davies, 3-Adam Jones, 2-Matthew Rees, 1-Paul James.
Replacements: 16-Huw Bennett, 17-Rhys Gill, 18-Ian Gough, 19-Sam Warburton, 20-Dwayne Peel, 21-Andrew Bishop, 22-Tom Shanklin.