Lions captain Warburton to lead Wales this autumn

Warren Gatland has confirmed British & Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton will captain Wales for the upcoming autumn internationals after revealing his 35-man squad. [more]

Lions captain Warburton to lead Wales this autumn

Warren Gatland has confirmed British & Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton will captain Wales for the upcoming autumn internationals after revealing his 35-man squad.

Warburton was expected to get the nod from last summer’s Lions head coach but faced competition from Alun Wyn Jones, after the Ospreys lock stood in as captain for his injured compatriot for the decisive and historic third Test Down Under.

Gatland – who has returned to coach Wales following his successful sabbatical with the Lions – has named 13 of this summer's tourists with injured backs Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert the only absentees.

Star names George North and Leigh Halfpenny are both included with Wales facing South Africa in their first fixture on November 9 before Argentina, Tonga and finally Australia visit the Millennium Stadium next month.

"We have an important campaign ahead as we look to test ourselves against some of the best sides in the world but also add strength in depth to our squad as we look to the future," said Gatland.

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"We face a huge game against South Africa first up and they will be coming to us after an impressive Rugby Championship campaign.

"Recent matches between us have been very close and physical and that will be a great test for us to kick-off.

"All four matches will be a stern test but we are looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to seeing what we can do on this stage.

"The Rugby World Cup is less than two years away, so we are looking to build as much depth in our squad as possible and to give vital international experience to our players."

WALES SQUAD 2013:

Forwards: Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (CAPT – Cardiff Blues), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro)

Backs: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Patchell (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Jon Davies (Scarlets), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Owen Williams (Cardiff Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), George North (Northampton Saints), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets). 

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