Gatland names team to hunt down Grand Slam

Gatland will be hoping his young side manages a final game showdown with France Photo: PA Wire

Gethin Jenkins will captain Wales against RBS 6 Nations opponents Italy on Saturday after Sam Warburton was ruled out by a knee problem, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced.

Warburton did not play against Scotland last month because of a thigh injury that forced him off at half-time in Dublin the previous weekend.

Gatland has made one other change from the side that beat England at Twickenham 10 days ago, recalling fit-again hooker Matthew Rees instead of Ken Owens.

Former squad captain Matthew Rees makes a return as hooker, with Jamie Roberts making a rapid recovery from his half-time injury in last week's match to keep his place in the back line

A win would see Wales through to a final day decider against France and the possibility of a magnificent Grand Slam.

Gatland says he has no concerns about selecting Justin Tipuric to face Italy, reports Richard Morgan

"He was unlucky not to go to the World Cup. We were hugely impressed with him in the Summer. It's good to give people an opportunity, but they also know that there are others breathing down their neck.

– Warren Gatland, Wales coach

WALES: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Rhys Priestland, Michael Phillips; Gethin Jenkins (C), Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau

REPLACEMENTS: Ken Owens, Paul James, Luke Charteris, Ryan Jones, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams