Dan Lydiate to lead Wales against Italy as Gatland makes four changes

The Ospreys star will captain Wales for the first time in a test match

wales, italy, six nations, rugby, dan lydiate

Wales’s Dan Lydiate Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has made four changes the Wales team for their Six Nations match against Italy on Saturday. 

Dan Lydiate is to captain the side in the absence of Sam Warburton who suffered a concussion against England at the weekend. It is Lydiate's first time to captain Wales in a test match. He led the team in a tour match in South Africa in 2014.

Luke Charteris, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb and Hallam Amos all come into the starting side. They replace the Alun Wyn Jones, Warburton, Gareth Davies and Alex Cuthbert.

Gatland spoke to the WRU's website after the team was announced, explaining the reasons for the changes.

"There are a number of changes, a couple injury enforced. Alun Wyn Jones has a foot problem that we have been managing for a while and he has played a lot of games. We have given Sam Warburton the week off, we decided not to push him through all the return to play protocols and we have also been managing a heel injury with Alex (Cuthbert) so Hallam comes onto the left wing."

"It's good to see Rhys (Webb) back and starting, it's a good opportunity for him. Saturday is a good chance for some of the players to redeem themselves and we are looking for a big performance."

"I've been involved in a couple of times when Dan (Lydiate) has captained the midweek sides and he jumped at the opportunity this weekend and it will be good to see how he goes." 

Wales team and replacements to play Italy:

(15-9): Liam Williams (Scarlets), George North (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys).

(1-8): Rob Evans (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys) (capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements (16-23): Ken Owens (Scarlets), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) / Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues).