Alun-Wyn Jones to be named Wales captain ahead of the Six Nations

The Ospreys star is expected to replace Sam Warburton

Alun-Wyn Jones to be named Wales captain ahead of the Six Nations

Alun-Wyn Jones of Wales Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

As Warren Gatland temporarily steps down from his Wales duties to lead the Lions on their summer tour of New Zealand, it looks like the changes are already taking place within the Welsh setup.

Sam Warburton was the surprise choice to captain Wales in 2011, and he went on to lead the side to a Grand Slam in 2012, a title in 2013 and he also captained the Lions in 2013, as Gatland's side defeated Australia.

According to the Daily Mail, caretaker coach Rob Howley is set to hand the captaincy to Alun-Wyn Jones ahead of the Six Nations. Jones has captained Wales on numerous occasions in Warburton's absence. He also captained the Lions in the Third Test of the 2013 Tour to Australia, as Warburton's tour prematurely ended through injury.

Warburton is to step down from the position, as he tries to improve his form. The 28-year-old is under pressure of the likes of Justin Tipuric to keep his spot in the Six Nations.

Tipuric and Warburton both played in two of Wales' Autumn internationals, but in a telling move, Tipuric played at Warburton's preferred number seven shirt, when the duo played against Argentina in their 24-20 win.

Jones is only of one five Welsh players with 100 caps or more. His 105 Wales appearances puts him second in the all-time list, with Gethin Jenkins leading the way on 129.

Wales announce their Six Nations squad next week, when Jones' coronation is expected to be confirmed.