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Warburton targeting title with Wales

Captain Sam Warburton has underlined Wales’ desire to land another Six Nations title.

Wales will go top of the championship if they beat Principality Stadium visitors France tonight, setting up a potential title showdown with England at Twickenham 15 days later.

Wales have won three Six Nations crowns and two Grand Slams since Warren Gatland became head coach eight years ago, in addition to reaching a World Cup semi-final.

“There are a lot of comparisons with past teams,” Warburton told reporters.

“But with the group of players we’ve got, we came in and won two Six Nations (2012 and 2013).

“I don’t think we really appreciated back then just how hard it was to win a championship.

“We definitely want to get another title under our belt, and we’ve still got a great chance to do that this year.”

Gatland has made three changes for the France clash, with wing Alex Cuthbert replacing his Cardiff Blues colleague Tom James, Wasps lock Bradley Davies coming in for injured Luke Charteris and Ospreys blindside flanker Dan Lydiate reclaiming the number six shirt and Warburton switching to his more familiar openside role.

Assessing Cuthbert’s recall, Gatland said: “We just feel it’s an opportunity for Alex.

“We don’t think he is far away from coming back into some form and confidence.”

Lock Itoje starts

Lock Maro Itoje will make his first England start tomorrow after being named in the side to play Ireland at Twickenham.

Itoje, 21, who impressed off the bench on his debut in the victory in Rome two weeks ago, replaces Courtney Lawes.

Uncapped centre Elliot Daly was named among the replacements while the only other change to the starting team was the return of prop Joe Marler for Mako Vuni-pola who drops to the bench.

Fixtures

Today: 21.05 Wales vs France.

Tomorrow: 15.25 Italy vs Scotland; 17.50 England vs Ireland.

Standings: England 4 (2-0-0); France 4 (2-0-0); Wales 3 (1-1-0); Ireland 1 (0-1-1); Scotland 0 (0-0-2); Italy 0 (0-0-2).

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