Martyn Williams will Captain the Wales side which heads to Dublin for Sunday's RBS Six Nations clash with Ireland at Lansdowne Road. Williams, one of Coach, Steve Hansens, four vice-captains, leads his country for the fifth time in his career with resident Captain, Tarbes back rower Colin Charvis, not risked for the trip after injuring his finger last weekend. Although the side is disappointed by the loss of Charvis it is boosted by the return to full fitness of Robin McBryde and Robert Sidoli.
McBryde and Sidoli missed out on selection for Wales's opening victory over Scotland last weekend due to injury and they return in place of Mefin Davies and Gareth Llewellyn.
Charvis is replaced in the back row by Ospreys flanker Jonathan Thomas and in the only other change to the side which beat Scotland 23-10, Iestyn Thomas joins the front row alongside fellow Scarlet McBryde at the expense of Ospreys prop Duncan Jones.
"Many people will be surprised by Duncan's omission but we can assure you its not a form issue, its for tactical reasons," said Hansen. "Duncan is fully aware of this and understands completely the reasoning behind it. He, along with other members of the squad who are free of injury, will play for their regions over the weekend and the full squad will come together again on Monday.
"It's disappointing to lose Colin who has been playing good Test rugby as well as growing into a strong leader. We have taken the decision which allows Colin's injury to be rectified once and for all, making him available for the rest of the tournament.
"We are very lucky that we have able replacements in Jonathan Thomas and Alix Popham from a playing point of view and Martyn Williams from a leadership perspective.
"It's now important that our designated lieutenants stand up and be counted in helping Martyn lead the side. We are looking forward to travelling to Dublin and playing a game of rugby we can all be proud of.
"Ireland will offer a different test for us than Scotland, but it is a test that we can go into with confidence because of the fact we have some runs on the scoreboard. Obviously we are very happy to have Rob and Sid back, the challenge for these two is to play up to and better than the high standards that were set by Mefin and Gareth last week."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.