Wales lose captain Ryan Jones for Australia

Wales captain Ryan Jones has been forced to pull out of Saturday’s Test against Australia because of a back injury.


Jones will be replaced at number eight by Andy Powell, who switches from blindside flanker with Dan Lydiate coming off the bench to win his second cap.


Cardiff prop Gethin Jenkins will captain the side and Lydiate’s place on the bench is taken by Sam Warburton.


Jenkins got the nod as stand-in skipper ahead of a number of other experienced campaigners, including Martyn Williams, Alun-Wyn Jones and Stephen Jones.


“We are developing a team of leaders,” said backs coach Rob Howley. “We are lucky there are a number of captains within the side.


“Gethin doesn’t say too much, but what he does say, people stand up and listen to. He leads by his actions.”


Forwards coach Robin McBryde admitted Jones will be missed as Wales look to build on the wins over Samoa and Argentina that followed a 19-12 defeat by New Zealand in their first November Test.


“Ryan’s leadership this campaign has been outstanding, so it’s going to be a big loss for us,” McBryde said.


“Australia’s scrum will be the toughest they have come up against during this series and it will be a hugely contested area.”


Wales have lost just one of their last four home Tests against Australia but Howley is expecting a tough contest with a squad smarting from a shock 9-8 defeat to Scotland.


“Australia should have won against Scotland, but they had one of those days at the office, which happens in professional sport,” Howley said. “I am sure they have put that game to bed now.


“We’ve set our standards. It is our stadium, our supporters and we have to make sure it’s our game.”

 

“It is important we win in our stadium – we expect that of our players.”

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