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Last Updated:  Thursday, 6 March, 2003, 11:18 GMT
Williams relishing captain's role
Wales flanker Martyn Williams
Williams has been Wales' outstanding player this season
Martyn Williams says he is relishing the added responsibility of captaining Wales for the first time.

The 27-year-old will become Wales' third captain in as many games in Saturday's RBS Six Nations match with Scotland at Murrayfield.

Williams takes the captain's armband from Jonathan Humphreys, who has failed to recover from a shoulder injury.

The team shows two changes from the side beaten by England last month - with Stephen Jones replacing Ceri Sweeney at fly-half and Gareth Williams coming in for Humphreys at hooker.

Said Williams: "I am immensely proud. Doing the captain's job at Cardiff has helped me a lot, and there is no trepidation as far as I'm concerned.

"I am excited about the talent that we've got in this side, and I'm looking forward to Saturday."

Williams has been the only Wales player to come out of the opening two Six Nations defeats with any credit.

Coach Steve Hansen says he has no doubts about the flanker's leadership qualities.

"He is well respected on and off the field, and he leads by example," said Hansen.

"Having a third captain in three games is obviously not an ideal situation, but that is where we are at.

"Martyn has been a unit leader within the team for quite some time, and now he gets the opportunity to step up.

"There is no doubt that he has been one of our most consistent performers."

Despite a composed performance on his first full international appearance, Sweeney finds himself dropped completely from the 22 man squad.

Wales fly-half Stephen Jones
Jones is a consistent performer at fly-half
Hansen has decided to keep Iestyn Harris on the bench as fly-half cover for Jones.

The coach revealed, however, that Sweeney would have retained his place had Jones not recovered from a broken thumb.

"It was a difficult decision to leave Ceri Sweeney out," Hansen said.

"He is a bit unlucky to go from a starting position to being out of the 22, but Stephen Jones is one of our most experienced and in-form players.

"If Stephen hadn't been available, then we would have picked Ceri to start.

"He has accepted it, which says everything about the character of the young man."

Former captain Colin Charvis has again missed out on a starting place.

Gavin Thomas holds onto the number eight berth with Charvis on the replacement's bench.

Bridgend youngster Gareth Williams will make his first international start at hooker.

However, Hansen has indicated that Mefin Davies, Wales' original first-choice number two, will feature sometime in the match.


Wales Team: K Morgan (Swansea); R Williams (Cardiff), M Taylor (Swansea), T Shanklin (Saracens), G Thomas (Bridgend); S Jones (Llanelli), G Cooper (Bath); I Thomas (Llanelli), G Williams (Bridgend), B Evans (Swansea), S Williams (Northampton), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), D Jones (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bath), M Williams (Capt) (Cardiff).
Reps: M Davies (Pontypridd), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), G Llewellyn (Neath), C Charvis (Swansea), D Peel (Llanelli), I Harris (Cardiff), M Watkins, (Llanelli).

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