[icWales] MARTYN WILLIAMS last night revealed his burning desire to skipper Wales at this year's World Cup in Australia.
The back-row forward becomes the third player to lead Wales in the Six Nations championship this season, against Scotland at Murrayfield tomorrow, in the footsteps of Colin Charvis and Jonathan Humphreys.
"I am immensely proud - it's something I dreamed of as a child," said the 27-year-old British Lions star.
"I had no reservations at all about taking the job. Once I was asked I jumped at it. It is a difficult time in some respects but in other ways it is really good.
"We have got a good young side. If we go on and advance on what we did against England we are a capable side. You have only got to look at some of the boys coming through."
And asked whether he would want the job for the World Cup, the Pontypridd openside flanker added, "Of course I would like to be captain there, if asked.
"It is a demanding job but that is part and parcel of professional rugby. You are going to get criticised but I am pretty excited. I don't see this as a poisoned chalice.
"If we can play as well or better than we did against England there is no reason why we cannot win.
"We have performed well against England, New Zealand and South Africa but have not won a game. We need to get a winning habit."
Coach Steve Hansen insisted he was handing the captaincy to Williams on a temporary basis - but predicted he would get the job permanently later in his career.
Hansen attempted to play down the significance of Williams's appointment, declaring, "Clearly he is a young man we have a lot of faith in to lead the side.
"He is a player who is well respected by his team-mates, and has got good values, on and off-the-field. He leads by example through performance.
"I believe he will probably be the permanent captain. He is already the leader of the young men in the side and this is an opportunity to give him a go at the job without all the pressures that go with it.
"He gets in and he gets out. `Ginge' is stepping into the breach because the other two guys are not in the side," said the New Zealander, in reference to the absence of Humphreys and Charvis.
Humphreys, who led Wales during their 26-9 defeat against England 13 days ago, withdrew because of a shoulder injury while Hansen said that Charvis, skipper during the loss to Italy last month, needed to find "a bit more form" before challenging for a starting place.
"I am sure `Ginge' will do an excellent job - he will be the Welsh captain for a long time when the time is right. It is important he is ready for it when the time arrives.
"The key criteria is performance. `Ginge' is performing week in, week out," added Hansen, before blaming the media for Charvis's loss of form and urging it to lay off Williams.
"Colin was continually attacked from day one because some people in the media do not like him for various reasons. It has destroyed his playing ability and we don't want the same thing to happen to anyone else."
Williams has led Wales previously when he was in charge against Tucuman and Argentina A during the South American tour four years ago. He also skippered the Dragons in an uncapped match with the US Eagles at the Millennium Stadium in August 1999.
Hansen has made two changes from the side beaten by England with Bridgend hooker Gareth Williams starting for the first time and Llanelli's Stephen Jones returning to the outside-half position after recovering from a broken thumb.
Jones replaces Pontypridd outside-half Ceri Sweeney, who does not even make the replacements with Iestyn Harris on the bench.
"It was a difficult decision to leave Ceri Sweeney out," said Hansen. "He is a bit unlucky to go from a starting position to being out of the 22. But we felt, if we needed to bring someone on off the bench, Iestyn would bring us something different."
But Hansen stressed, "If Stephen hadn't been available, then we would have picked Ceri to start. He has accepted it, which says everything about the character of the young man."
Scotland have drafted James McLaren into the centre to accommodate Gregor Townsend's switch to fly-half. Jason White takes over at blindside flanker for the injured Martin Leslie. Going to the match? Watch out for your Western Mail on sale in Edinburgh today and tomorrow.