Welsh captaincy up for grabs
Ryan Jones to miss match against England after scans reveal broken in shoulder
Ryan Jones of Wales receives treatment during the match against Scotland. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Leadership duties, it is understood, could be handed to British and Irish Lions Test lock Alun-Wyn Jones for a game that sees Wales targeting a successful Six Nations title defence and destroying England’s Grand Slam dream in the process.
Asked about the captaincy, Wales assistant coach McBryde said: “That will be up for discussion.
“There are quite a few sore bodies at this stage after Saturday, and we are not under any pressure to make any decisions at the moment.
“We will take our time and make sure the decisions are right in order to get things spot-on for Saturday.
“We are in a good place. Those decisions will come on Thursday.”
It was a brave, but totally vindicated, call by Howley not to reinstate him as captain, letting the 24-year-old concentrate solely on his own performance without distractions, and Warburton duly delivered an immense display.
With England breakdown specialist Chris Robshaw offering a significant test for Warburton on Saturday, it could be that Howley decides on a repeat approach.
Alun-Wyn Jones has only led Wales once before — the 2009 Six Nations game against Italy in Rome that produced a 20-15 victory — but he is a natural leader and showing imperious form following his recovery from shoulder surgery earlier this season.
Howley’s team announcement is scheduled for Thursday lunchtime, but the absence of 73 times-capped Jones — who is set to be replaced by Justin Tipuric — will hit Wales.
Jones, 32 tomorrow, led Wales to successive away wins against France, Italy and Scotland, reviving a campaign that could easily have fallen away quickly following an opening weekend home loss to Ireland.
But a shoulder injury suffered during the second-half at Murrayfield now threatens to sideline him until early May.
“Ryan has broken a bone in his shoulder,” McBryde added.
“At the moment, it is between six to eight weeks out, so it is not the best of news for Ryan, considering how vital a role he has played for us.