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Warburton out but Jones back for Wales

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/05/2016 Andrew Baldock
Sam Warburton © Getty Images Sam Warburton

Wales are set to be without one British and Irish Lions Test captain but could be buoyed by another's return from injury when they tackle England at Twickenham.

Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said the Test on Sunday too early for national team captain Sam Warburton as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury suffered last month.

But talisman lock Alun Wyn Jones, who has not played because of a long-term foot problem since Wales' Six Nations loss to England in March, is in the selection frame.

McBride says Wyn Jones would benefit from a run ahead of Wales' three-Test tour of New Zealand in June.

"He hasn't had rugby in a long while. This game has been put in the diary in order for us to get up to speed - that intensity - before we face the All Blacks," McBride said.

"Anybody who hasn't had that much rugby stands a good chance of being involved against England."

Jones, who led the 2013 Lions to a third Test win against Australia in Sydney, went off during the second half when Wales suffered the 25-21 loss to England.

Warburton is on course to be fit for Wales' first Test against the All Blacks in Auckland on June 11.

He has a major role to fill, given that Wales boss Warren Gatland has selected no other specialist openside flankers in his tour squad.

"This weekend will be too early for Sam, but he has done everything bar contact work," McBryde said.

"He is getting much stronger, feeling much better about himself, and that is evident in the way he is carrying himself and contributing to the meetings."

Prop Paul James, meanwhile, will have a fitness test later this week on a calf muscle injury, with Gatland due to name his team for Twickenham on Friday.

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