Alun Wyn Jones has been named as captain of a 36-man Wales squad for the Six Nations, replacing Sam Warburton.
Speculation over Warburton's future as skipper had dominated the lead-up to Wales' squad announcement on Tuesday, with the 28-year-old - who has led his country in more Tests than any other player - anticipated to stand down in order to focus on retaining his back-row place amid fierce competition.
Warburton met with Wales head coach Rob Howley to discuss the matter and it has now been confirmed that Wyn Jones, who has captained Wales on five previous occasions, will take over as the team's leader.
"It's an honour to select Alun Wyn as captain. His vast experience, as a player and a leader will help drive this squad forward and I believe he will flourish in the role," said Howley, who is in charge of Wales while Warren Gatland focuses on this year's British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.
"Sam has led Wales more times than any other captain and had great success in the role. However, we want him to concentrate on his game and to be the best player he can be.
"We had conversations during and since the autumn with Sam - no player is guaranteed their place in an international team and we want Sam to be playing his very best rugby and he agrees this is the best way forward."