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Flanker Sam Warburton on the bench for Wales' Six Nations match in Italy

Last Updated: 21/02/13 11:11am

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Sam Warburton: Back from injury but only on bench for Rome game

Sam Warburton: Back from injury but only on bench for Rome game

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Sam Warburton has been confirmed as one of the Wales replacements for the RBS Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday.

Warburton missed out on the 16-6 win over France in Paris earlier this month and coach Rob Howley had already confirmed that the starting XV from that game would be retained.

The back-rower captained Wales to Grand Slam glory last season and led them at the 2011 World Cup, but he will provide only a back-up option behind new skipper Ryan Jones and his replacement Justin Tipuric.

A strong set of forward replacements is also boosted by the return of lock Alun-Wyn Jones.

Jones suffered a shoulder injury during the Millennium Stadium defeat against Argentina three months ago, and he subsequently underwent surgery, but he has played a couple of times for the Ospreys and was recalled to Howley's training squad last week.

Cardiff Blues lock Lou Reed and Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler drop out of the match-day 23 on duty against France.

Howley said: "We announced last week that we would reward the starting XV that beat France by keeping faith with the same line-up for this weekend's game.

"The side is fit and raring to go and on the bench we have brought in Sam (Warburton) and Alun Wyn (Jones), who have both returned from injury which is a boost to the squad.

"In France the players showed real determination and resilience and we will need that again in Rome. Italy have already showed so far in this campaign what they are capable of, so we know the challenge we will be facing on Saturday."

Wales: Halfpenny; Cuthbert, J Davies, Roberts, North; Biggar, Phillips; Jenkins, Hibbard, A Jones, Coombs, I Evans, R Jones, Tipuric, Faletau.

Replacements: Owens, James, Mitchell, A-W Jones, Warburton), L Williams, Hook, S Williams.

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