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Warburton inspired to improve by All Blacks

Warburton inspired to improve by All Blacks

Flanker Sam Warburton admits the calibre of New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup performances has forced him to re-evaluate his own game as he bids to improve as a player.

Flanker Sam Warburton admits the calibre of New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup performances has forced him to re-evaluate his own game as he bids to improve as a player.

The 27-year-old, who captained the British & Irish Lions during their successful tour Down Under in 2013, led Wales to the quarter-final stage before watching on in admiration as the All Blacks became the first side to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.

And with one eye on the Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017, Warburton insists he is going to have to put in even more effort to reach the high standards set by the world champions.    

“Even by All Blacks standards that team has been exceptional. To win a final by 17 points is an amazing feat,” said Warburton.

“They do the simple things really well, like running straight, carrying well, hitting rucks, placing the ball correctly at rucks and passing accurately.

“They soak up pressure and have an exit strategy. Opponents seem to have a chance of exerting pressure on them but they exit so well.

“I’ve realised I have got to practice more and do the simple stuff well. One of the hardest skills is receiving a kick-off as a pod going up in the air with the other side chasing.”

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