Sam Warburton Set To Give Up Captaincy Ahead Of Six Nations
Already without their coach for the Six Nations, Wales are set to be handed a new blow with long time captain Sam Warburton on the verge of giving up the captaincy ahead of this year's championships.
Wales will be looking to win their first championships since 2013 when the tournament kicks off in three and a half weeks. They will be coached by Rob Howley with their usual coach, Warren Gatland, in the middle of planning for the Lions tour to New Zealand this summer.
Howley and his men might be seen as having little chance compared to last year's Grand Slam winners England and the only team to have beaten the All Blacks last year, Ireland, but they do host both those teams giving them some chance.
However Howley will have to replace Warburton as captain with the flanker stepping down before the tournament begins. It seems likely that Alun Wyn Jones, a candidate for the Lions captaincy, will take the armband.
The Independent say that the Cardiff Blues flanker is determined to concentrate on his own form with Justin Tipuric's form in the Autumn internationals and the emergence of Ross Moriarty putting his place in the side in some jeopardy.
Former Wales international Emyr Lewis told BBC Sport, "It's a massive decision. He's been the captain for so long and it shows his integrity. It shows how unselfish he is and he's put the Welsh team at the forefront of his reasoning behind it."
Warburton captained the Lions four years ago in their series win over Australia however injury meant Jones took the armband for the decisive third test. Famously the 28 year old was sent-off as captain in the World Cup semi-final against France.