Lions captain Warburton reaches 50 Wales caps

British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton admits he could hardly have hoped for a more exciting occasion in which to win his 50th Wales cap. [more]

Lions captain Warburton reaches 50 Wales caps

British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton admits he could hardly have hoped for a more exciting occasion in which to win his 50th Wales cap.

The Cardiff Blues flanker expected to reach the landmark in November but was rested for the match against Fiji, leaving him waiting to bring up the half-century.

But Warburton – who led the Lions on their successful tour to Australia in 2013 – is not complaining, with England at a packed Millennium Stadium providing the perfect backdrop for the occasion on Friday night.

"You probably could not get a better fixture," he said. "I was hoping to achieve it in the autumn last year, then I was told I was not playing against Fiji and I knew I would have to wait a little bit longer.

"A month went by and I saw the fixture with England and I thought 'wow'.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"It's a nice landmark, and I am lucky that it falls at home in the Millennium Stadium."

Warburton anticipates a tight game against an England side still smarting from their 30-3 defeat on their last visit to Cardiff in 2013.

An element of revenge was exacted in a 29-18 win at Twickenham last year and, with the sides facing each other in the Rugby World Cup pool stage in September, there is even more at stake.

The Welsh skipper is taking nothing for granted, though, highlighting his role in confronting England's strong back row as being crucial to the game's outcome.

"The first thing I thought when I saw their pack was that it was really strong," he added. "I have played against them all before. The back-row is big and it has a nice balance.

"They cover all the bases. They have line-out options, they have ball-carriers, guys on the floor and they are all playing well.”
 

Previous story Cricket plays its part in New Zealand’s sporting folklore
Next story Gatland makes no excuses for Wales defeat
Download