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Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Williams backs Jones as captain

Alun Wyn Jones and Shane Williams
Shane Williams is backing Alun Wyn Jones (left) as Wales skipper

Shane Williams believes his Ospreys team-mate Alun Wyn Jones can become a great Wales captain of the future.

Jones takes over the leadership of the side from official Wales skipper Ryan Jones for the Six Nations clash against Italy in Rome on Saturday.

Williams says he has seen a lot of good captaincy credentials in the 23-year-old second-row.

"Potentially he could be a great captain... It will be nice to see him have the arm band," said wing Williams.

"He deserves it. He is the kind of player who works hard in training and gives 100 per cent every game.

"He has got these tendencies to work hard and make the boys work hard around him. In the future Alun Wyn could be a tremendous captain."

606: DEBATE

Jones has been given the chance to lead the side at the Stadio Flaminio by coach Warren Gatland, with Ryan Jones named among the replacements for the Italy clash.

But Wales will be without Dwayne Peel, who was named as the starting scrum-half but is out for the rest of the Six Nations after picking up a hamstring injury playing for Sale last weekend.

Williams says he has the utmost sympathy for Peel, who is replaced at number nine by Mike Phillips, but is sure he will bounce back.

"It's a massive blow [for Dwayne]. Having been left out of the original squad he has been brought back in and done very well. He has had his chance and he's deserved it," added Williams.

"To have an injury before a game you are selected in is heart-breaking really. You have to feel for him.

"He will bounce back. He is young enough and we know he will have plenty of games to come."

If Wales beat Italy it would set up a potential Six Nations title decider against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium on 14 March.

But Williams is taking nothing for granted against the Italians on their home patch.

"I have played them enough times now to know it's never an easy game," admitted the Lions wing.

"The first 20 minutes is crucial and sometimes it can be the hardest 20 minutes you can play.

"They [Italy] will be hurt they haven't won a game yet. Make no bones they will go out on the weekend wanting to win this game and believing they can."



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see also
Wales' rugby captains
26 Oct 10 |  Welsh
Jones revels in captaincy honour
05 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Lock Jones handed Wales captaincy
05 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Edwards shows faith in Phillips
11 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Peel to miss rest of Six Nations
10 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Hook warns Wales over Italy clash
10 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Ospreys pair handed Wales debuts
07 Jun 06 |  Internationals
Henson 'best in world' - Taylor
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Prop Thomas targeting Italy scrum
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Gatland challenges recalled stars
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Italy back Masi out of Wales game
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Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
27 Oct 08 |  Welsh


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