Warburton looks to England for inspiration

They might be rivals on the international stage but Sam Warburton wants his Wales side to emulate England's 2003 team as the British & Irish Lion prepares to take on Australia once again. [more]

Warburton looks to England for inspiration

They might be rivals on the international stage but Sam Warburton wants his Wales side to emulate England’s 2003 team as the British & Irish Lion prepares to take on Australia once again.

Welshman Warburton was named as captain for the British & Irish Lions tour Down Under last summer, leading the side to a 2-1 series victory.

However, in the red of Wales Warburton has found the going against the Wallabies much tougher with Australia coming out on top in the last nine Tests.

The fact that five of those defeats for Wales have been by four points or fewer will be of scant consolation for Warburton and co.

And the flanker is urging his Wales teammates to emulate the England team from 11 years ago who beat the three southern hemisphere giants before going on to claim the World Cup.

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"It's not a psychological barrier," said 26-year-old Warburton. "The first time I came into the squad was on the back of beating them in 2008, so you always have the belief.

"You are not unlucky nine times in a row, Australia have obviously been that smidge better than we have been over those nine fixtures.

"It is a massive opportunity for the squad. It is coming to the time, which we have said year after year, with the World Cup on the horizon and the senior players in the group, that we really do have to get a win over one of these teams if we are to be considered one of the best in the world.

"That's why I respect the England team of 2003. When they had their autumn series they turned over all three of them (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and sent a real message to world rugby.

"That's what we have got to aspire to."

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