Rugby Union


Warburton set for Lions return

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British and Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton is ready to resume full training as he recovers from injury.

Warburton was unable to appear in the side’s first tour match against Barbarians due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Graham Rowntree has revealed that Wurburton will commence full-training tomorrow but has ruled him out of the next match against Western Force on Wednesday.

"Sam will train fully tomorrow," assistant coach Rowntree told reporters. "

He didn't quite do everything today - he did some extended running drills and will be fine for tomorrow."

Paul O'Connell captained the side in the first tour match against the Barbarians but it's been reported that Brian O'Driscoll will lead the side out against the Western Force on Wednesday. It appears that coach Warren Gatland is rotating the captaincy whilst awaiting the return of Warburton.

The Lions kicked off the tour in style dismantling a disappointing Barbarians side. A 59-8 victory was an impressive start and Rowntree is hoping that the squad can keep up the high standards.

"I thought we set the bar fairly high on Saturday in difficult conditions," Rowntree said.

"A lot of our proven guys that have played a lot of games found those conditions harder than anything, harder than altitude or anything like that."

The Lions will play Western Force in Perth on Wednesday and Queensland Reds on Saturday with their first test against Australia coming on 22 June in Brisbane.

Rowntree knows it's important to rotate the squad in these early matches in an attempt to find the best starting selection.

"We've said to the guys the first three games everyone gets a start, so after the (Queensland) Reds game (on Saturday) I think we have got to start making some decisions on combinations and having a look at people.

"And certainly by the Waratahs and ACT (Brumbies) games, we need to know who we are going to start with in the (first) Test, but at this point in time there is everything there to play for for everyone."

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British & Irish Lions
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