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Warburton out

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Saturday, February 09, 2013

CARDIFF - Wales captain Sam Warburton has been ruled out of the Six Nations rugby match against France tomorrow with a 'stinger' injury.

Openside flanker Warburton suffered the blow, which normally affects the shoulder, in last weekend's 30-22 first-round defeat by Ireland in Cardiff that dented Welsh hopes of a successful title defence.

Ryan Jones was named as captain in a team announced by Wales interim coach Rob Howley on Thursday.

Former full-time skipper Jones, set to lead Wales for a record 30th time at Stade de France, is in at blindside flanker in place of Aaron Shingler, with Justin Tipuric filling in for Warburton on the other side of the back-row.

The only other change to the starting XV is Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard, fit again following injury, replacing Matthew Rees.

In the backs, centre Jamie Roberts is poised to win his 50th cap, while Shingler has taken Tipuric's bench place with Lou Reed joining him among the replacements instead of Olly Kohn.

"We didn't start the tournament the way we wanted to on the weekend but Saturday is a chance for us to go out and show what we can do," Howley said after naming his team.

"It's disappointing to have Sam ruled out but Ryan comes in as captain with a wealth of experience.

"Playing France in Paris is always a huge match but we have worked hard as a squad this week and want to deliver a performance we know we are capable of."

Wales - who have enjoyed just three away wins against France since 1975 - are currently on an eight-match losing streak and have not beaten another Test-playing nation for nearly a year.

Pre-tournament favourites France will also be looking to return to winning ways after a shock 23-18 loss to Italy in Rome on Sunday.

They too will be without their captain last week after lock Pascal Pape was ruled out through injury.

Toulouse flanker Thierry Dusautoir, losing finalists France's skipper at the 2011 World Cup, has been restored to the captaincy with Toulon's Jocelino Suta taking Pape's place in the second row.

Meanwhile Suta's club-mate Mathieu Bastareaud has been given a start in the centres by France coach Philippe Saint-Andre in place of Florian Fritz.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Toby Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Ryan Jones (capt); Ian Evans, Andrew Coombs; Adam Jones, Richard Hibbard, Gethin Jenkins

Replacements: Ken Owens, Paul James, Craig Mitchell, Lou Reed, Aaron Shingler, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams