Warburton starts for Wales against Italy

Wales captain Sam Warburton will make his first appearance in the Rugby World
Cup warm ups after being named as captain of the team to play Italy at Cardiff’s
Millennium Stadium.

The openside flanker suffered a shoulder injury in training last month and
was rested from Wales’ 16-10 win away to Six Nations champions Ireland in Dublin
last weekend.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has named a strong side for the team’s final World
Cup tune-up fixture, with full-back Leigh Halfpenny, wing George North, half-backs
Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb and prop Gethin Jenkins all starting alongside Warburton.

"With our opening Rugby World Cup fixture just two weeks away, this weekend
is an important run-out and opportunity for fine-tuning," said Gatland
of a match with an Italy side thrashed 48-7 by Scotland at Murrayfield last

"We were happy with the performance away from home in Ireland last weekend,
but there are plenty of things we need to work on from that victory, so we will
be looking to put those in place on Saturday," the New Zealander added.

"We’ve made a couple of changes to try a few new combinations and ensure
players get some more game-time under their belts."

Wales begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium
on September 20, but whether they get through to the last eight appears to depend
on the outcome of their Twickenham clashes against pool rivals England and Australia.


Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Cory Allen, Scott Williams, George North; Dan
Biggar, Rhys Webb; Taulupe Faletau, Sam Warburton (capt), James King; Dominic
Day, Jake Ball; Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Paul James, Aaron Jarvis, Luke Charteris, Ross
Moriarty, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Matthew Morgan

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