Rob Howley: I need Sam Warburton to concentrate on his own game
Last Updated: March 16, 2013 4:54pm
Sam Warburton and Chris Robshaw: Key showdown on Saturday
Coach Rob Howley made Gethin Jenkins captain of Wales because he wants Sam Warburton to concentrate on his own game.
When Ryan Jones was ruled out of the Six Nations title decider by injury, Warburton was widely expected to be re-appointed captain.
But Howley sprung a surprise by going for prop Jenkins for the Cardiff cliffhanger, rather than Warburton.
Warburton will play on the blindside flank, where he will be up against an in-form England back-row that includes England skipper Chris Robshaw, and the result of their match-up could go some way to deciding who captains the Lions in Australia this summer.
"With Sam, the way he played against Scotland, the gut feeling was that I would rather he focused on his own game."
Warburton and Robshaw are two the leading candidates to be made captain in Australia and earlier this week Lions coach Warren Gatland said that the Cardiff match was essentially a final trial for the Lions tour.
Warburton returned to the team against Scotland and looked back to his best and Howley said: "I spoke to Sam.
"I think as a coach you have a gut feeling about a player and how he feels, and you always take a player's form into consideration.
"With Sam, the way he played against Scotland, the gut feeling was that I would rather he focused on his own game.
"That is how I saw it, and you have to make those difficult decisions when they come. It is in the best interests of the national team to be best prepared for England this weekend that Gethin Jenkins captains this side."