Warburton: Lions experience will boost Wales

Sam Warburton insists the large British & Irish Lions contingent in the Wales squad puts his side at a huge advantage for the autumn internationals. [more]

Warburton: Lions experience will boost Wales

Sam Warburton insists the large British & Irish Lions contingent in the Wales squad puts his side at a huge advantage for the autumn internationals.

Warburton, who led the Lions to their first series victory in 16 years in Austalia this summer, will also be the skipper for Wales this autumn.

Warren Gatland’s side will face South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia at the Millennium Stadium next month.

And with a squad that includes 13 Lions from that victorious tour this summer, Warburton hopes that winning mentality can rub off on the whole squad.

“I think the Lions will have a positive effect on those who were involved,” he said.

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“When Kurtley Beale missed that last kick in the first Test, I remember saying beforehand if games are consistently that close, then one will go our way. On that occasion it did and hopefully we can replicate that in a Wales jersey.”

The autumn internationals give Wales their first chance to return to their Millennium Stadium home since they mauled England to claim the Six Nations title back in March.

And Warburton admits he is itching to get back to home comforts against some of the best southern hemisphere opposition.

“In the past few years we've started the autumn campaign slowly so we'll have to be on top of training and make sure we're up to speed for that first match,” the Wales captain added.

“When you play at the Millennium Stadium, it naturally gives you a massive lift and it brings out an extra 10 or 20 per cent in the players.

“The home crowd is always a massive factor for us but it will be difficult and we'll emphasis that we need to be ready in the build-up to the autumn.” 

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