Sam Warburton

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Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton cropped.jpg
Warburton at the 2012 Grand Slam celebrations
Full name Sam Kennedy-Warburton
Date of birth (1988-10-05) 5 October 1988 (age 25)
Place of birth Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 106 kg (16 st 10 lb)
School Whitchurch High School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team

2007-2009
Rhiwbina RFC
Glamorgan Wanderers
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2009– Cardiff Blues 46 (20)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2009–
2013
Wales
British and Irish Lions
46
2
(15)
(0)
correct as of 16 Mar 2014.

Sam Kennedy-Warburton (born 5 October 1988), commonly known as Sam Warburton, is a Welsh international rugby union player. Warburton plays regional rugby for the Cardiff Blues and was first capped for Wales in 2009. He usually plays as an openside flanker but is also capable of playing at blindside. In June 2011 he was named as Wales captain versus the Barbarians and subsequently in August 2011 he was named as the Wales captain for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In April 2013 he was named the Lions' captain for the 2013 tour to Australia.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

Warbuton was born in Wales to English parents and so considers himself Welsh and British.[2] He has an older twin brother Ben who played at semi-professional level with Glamorgan Wanderers and is now a physiotherapist for the Newport Gwent Dragons Youth Academy, and an older sister Holly, a schoolteacher.[3][4] He attended Whitchurch High School and left with 3 A Levels.[3] As a youngster he was a keen football player and played for his school team alongside schoolmate Real Madrid and Wales left winger Gareth Bale.[5][6] He had a trial with local club Cardiff City at the age of 14 but chose to concentrate on rugby instead. He played on the junior teams of Rhiwbina RFC and briefly played for Glamorgan Wanderers RFC before joining the Cardiff Blues.[7]

On 5 July 2014, Warburton married long term partner Rachel Thomas in a church ceremony in Newport, before the couple held a reception at the Celtic Manor Resort.[8]

Career[edit]

Warburton represented Wales at all levels, including being captain of the U18's, U19's and he was captain of the Wales Under-20 team for the 2007–08 season. He led Wales to the under 19's and under 20's world cup semi finals. Warburton made his debut for the senior Wales national rugby union team on 6 June 2009 versus the USA. Versatile enough to play anywhere in the backrow he made his regional debut for the Cardiff Blues away to Edinburgh in 2009 and his excellent form, including a man of the match display against Munster, earned him a spot on the Welsh summer tour of North America. On tour he had an impressive debut coming on as a replacement against the USA and he has been tipped to succeed Martyn Williams as the Welsh and Blues openside flanker.[citation needed]

On 18 January 2010 he was named in the 35 man Wales national Squad for the 2010 Six Nations tournament.[9] He scored his first international try against Italy in the 2011 Six Nations tournament.[10] Warburton captained Wales for the first time versus the Barbarians on 4 June 2011 at the age of 22 years and 242 days becoming Wales' second youngest captain after Gareth Edwards. In a world cup warm-up against England, Warburton claimed man of the match with a superb display, dominating the breakdown. In August 2011 he was named as the Welsh Captain for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in the absence of the injured Matthew Rees.[11]

2011 Rugby World Cup[edit]

Going into the tournament, Warburton's reputation was promoted by coach Warren Gatland, who claimed he was up with the best openside flankers in the world. In the opening match of the tournament against South Africa, Warburton became the youngest ever World Cup captain, facing experienced South African openside flanker Heinrich Brussow. While Wales lost 17-16, skipper Warburton won man of the match, winning his breakdown battle with Brussow in an outstanding display where he made 6 steals and making nearly a quarter of Wales' tackles (23 out of 99), as well as some superb runs. He continued his form in the match against Samoa, making a further 6 steals and 17 tackles as Wales won 17-10. Warburton played another good game against Namibia before being rested for the final half hour in the 81-7 game. Wales then booked their place in the quarter finals against Ireland with a 66-0 win over Fiji, in direct contrast to the loss of four years ago. Warburton was again at the heart of the performance making some steals and some good runs, and also scoring his second test try. At the end of this remarkable few weeks, Warburton was then voted the Player of Pool D by the fans; he had taken the tournament by storm, making the highest number of turnovers.[12] Wales then met Ireland in the quarter-final as Warburton faced the inform Irish openside flanker Sean O'Brien, in the 'battle of the opensides'. Wales reached the semi-final for the first time in 24 years with a 22-10 win, as Warburton continued his form, making 21 tackles and a number of turnovers, disrupting Ireland's ball. They were set to face an out of form French team in the semi final. When playing against France, Warburton became the second Wales player to receive a red card in a World Cup when he was sent off after 18 minutes by the Irish referee Alain Rolland for a dangerous tackle on Vincent Clerc.[13] Warburton admitted the offence at a disciplinary hearing in Auckland, when evidence was presented by the player, Gatland and Warburton's legal representative Aaron Lloyd. Despite the sending off, the Guardian newspaper, Brynmor Williams and Sir Ian McGeechan, the Lions legendary coach, named him player of the tournament.

2012 Six Nations[edit]

Warburton retained the captaincy for the Six Nations, despite Matthew Rees' return suggesting he would hold the accolade for many years. This Six Nations campaign however would be an injury disrupted one. In the opening match against Ireland he went off injured at halftime with a dead leg, but Wales managed to win 23-21. He missed the 27-13 win over Scotland but returned for the Triple Crown decider against England. Wales won 19-12. Warburton was at his best making steals, carries, taking lineouts. But it was his try-saving tackle on Manu Tuilagi that caught the eye. The England centre seemed destined to score in the corner but Warburton launched himself low and grabbed his ankles to make a superb try saver.[14] As a result he was awarded man of the match. He once was injured however and missed the 24-3 win over Italy with a knee injury. He returned for the Grand Slam decider against France but was once again injured, this time his shoulder and was taken off at halftime. Wales prevailed though 16-9 to claim a grand slam. Warburton would then lift the trophy with one hand, since his other shoulder was in a sling. He later spoke of his guilt at going off at halftime and asked vice captains Gethin Jenkins and Ryan Jones to share the raising of the trophy. But the veterans said it was his moment.[15] The injury he sustained would rule him out for 6 weeks meaning he would be available for the Lions tour of Australia in June 2013.

British & Irish Lions[edit]

On the 30 April 2013 Warburton was named in a 37-man squad for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia. He was announced captain for the tour by New Zealand born Wales head coach Warren Gatland, making Warburton the youngest ever Lions captain at the age of 24.[16][17] Warburton was selected as captain in the first test in Brisbane combining with Tom Croft and Jamie Heaslip. The Lions won an absorbing encounter 23-21 with Warburton topping the tackle count by some way with 14 (Brian O'Driscoll was 2nd in 11. Warburton started the second test a week later. The Lions lost 16-15 and many considered the turning point to be when Warburton got injured and left the field. Warburton was magnificent at the breakdown preventing the Wallabies from having a platform. Clive Woodward considered his performance 'the most outstanding performance I have ever seen from a Lion'.[18] Unfortunately for Warburton he would be ruled out of the third test due to the hamstring injury he picked up in the second Test. The Lions would go on and win the final test with Alun Wyn Jones captaining the team to a 41-16 win. At the end of the final Test, Warburton and Jones raised the Tom Richards Cup after the Lions claimed their first series since 1997.

Cap Date Team Position Shirt Number Home or Away Tournament Venue Result Score Notes
1 22 June 2013  Australia Openside Flanker 7 Away 1st Test Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Win 23-21 Lions test debut as captain. Topped tackle count with 14. Lions go up 1-0 in an absorbing match.[19]
2 29 June 2013  Australia Openside Flanker 7 Away 2nd Test Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Loss 15-16 Widely regarded as one of his finest test displays - Clive Woodward dubbed it the best display by anyone in a Lions jersey - Warburton dominated the breakdown and was many pundits' man of the match. His injury in the 66th minute changed the game and ruled him out of the final and deciding 3rd test.

Welsh Caps[edit]

Played 42, won 20, lost 22, drawn 0.

Cap Date Team Position Shirt Number Home or Away Tournament Venue Result Score Notes
1 6 June 2009  United States Back Row 19 Away Friendly Toyota Park, Chicago Win 48-15 Debut off the bench replacing injured Ryan Jones in 15th minute.
2 13 November 2009  Samoa Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 17–13 First start for Wales
3 28 November 2009  Australia Back Row 19 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 12–33 Substituted Dan Lydiate in 48th minute.
4 14 February 2010  Scotland Back Row 19 Home 2010 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 31–24 Substituted Martyn Williams in 69th minute.
5 13 March 2010  Ireland Back Row 19 Away 2010 Six Nations Croke Park, Dublin Loss 12–27 Substituted Martyn Williams in 65th minute.
6 20 March 2010  Italy Flanker 7 Home 2010 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 33–10 First Six Nations start
7 5 June 2010  South Africa Flanker 7 Home Friendly Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 31–34 Played 75 minutes with a broken jaw.
8 6 November 2010  Australia Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 16–25
9 27 November 2010  New Zealand Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 25-37
10 4 February 2011  England Flanker 7 Home 2011 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 19-26
11 12 February 2011  Scotland Flanker 7 Away 2011 Six Nations Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Win 6–24 Man of the Match
12 26 February 2011  Italy Flanker 7 Away 2011 Six Nations Stadio Flaminio, Rome Win 16–24 First try for Wales
13 12 March 2011  Ireland Flanker 7 Home 2011 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 19-13
14 19 March 2011  France Flanker 7 Away 2011 Six Nations Stade de France, Paris Loss 28-9 Injured in 13th minute
15 4 June 2011 Barbarians Flanker 7 Home Friendly Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 28-31 First time captaining Wales
16 6 August 2011  England Flanker 7 Away Friendly Twickenham, London Loss 23-19 First time captaining Wales against International opposition.
17 13 August 2011  England Flanker 7 Home Friendly Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 19-9 Man of the Match
18 11 September 2011  South Africa Flanker 7 Neutral 2011 Rugby World Cup Regional Stadium, Wellington Loss 16-17 Man of the Match
19 18 September 2011  Samoa Flanker 7 Neutral 2011 Rugby World Cup Waikato Stadium, Hamilton Win 17-10
20 24 September 2011  Namibia Flanker 7 Neutral 2011 Rugby World Cup Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth Win 81-7
21 2 October 2011  Fiji Flanker 7 Neutral 2011 Rugby World Cup Waikato Stadium, Hamilton Win 66-0 Second try for Wales
22 8 October 2011  Ireland Flanker 7 Neutral 2011 Rugby World Cup Regional Stadium, Wellington Win 22-10 Leads Wales to first World Cup semi final since 1987.
23 15 October 2011  France Flanker 7 Neutral 2011 Rugby World Cup Eden Park, Auckland Loss 9-8 Red carded for tip tackle on Vincent Clerc
24 3 December 2011  Australia Flanker 7 Home Friendly Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 24-18
25 5 February 2012  Ireland Flanker 7 Away 2012 Six Nations Aviva Stadium, Dublin Win 21-23 Injured and replaced by Justin Tipuric at half time.
26 25 February 2012  England Flanker 7 Away 2012 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 12-19 Man of the Match
27 17 March 2012  France Flanker 7 Home 2012 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 16-9 Injured and replaced by Ryan Jones at half time. Lifts Six Nations trophy as Wales win the Grand Slam
28 9 June 2012  Australia Flanker 7 Away Wales 2012 tour of Australia Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Loss 27-19
29 16 June 2012  Australia Flanker 7 Away Wales 2012 tour of Australia Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Loss 25-23
30 23 June 2012  Australia Flanker 7 Away Wales 2012 tour of Australia Allianz Stadium, Sydney Loss 20-19 Injured and replaced by Justin Tipuric in 28th minute.
31 10 November 2012  Argentina Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 12-26
32 16 November 2012  Samoa Flanker 20 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 19-26 Replaced Ryan Jones in 70th minute
33 24 November 2012  New Zealand Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 10-33
34 1 December 2012  Australia Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 12-14
35 2 February 2013  Ireland Flanker 7 Home 2013 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 22-30
36 23 February 2013  Italy Flanker 20 Away 2013 Six Nations Stadio Olimpico, Rome Win 9-26 Replaced Ryan Jones in 70th minute
37 9 March 2013  Scotland Flanker 7 Away 2013 Six Nations Murrayfield, Edinburgh Win 18-28 Man of the Match
38 16 March 2013  England Flanker 6 Home 2013 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 30-3 First start at blindside flanker for Wales. Wales win Six Nations title with a record win over England.
39 9 November 2013  South Africa Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 15-24 7 tackles, 5 turnovers and 7 carries for 22 metres
40 16 November 2013  Argentina Flanker 6 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 40-6
41 30 November 2013  Australia Flanker 7 Home Autumn Internationals Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Loss 26-30
42 1 February 2014  Italy Flanker 20 Home 2014 Six Nations Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Win 23-15

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lions 2013: Jonny Wilkinson out but Sam Warburton is captain". BBC Sport. April 2013. 
  2. ^ "'British' Wales star Sam Warburton sparks political row". BBC. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Ben Warburton: Twin trouble but little jealousy". independent.co.uk. 13 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sam Warburton, Wales ferocious captain, is a home boy at heart". The Daily Telegraph. 27 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Pride at Cradiff school that developed Sam Warburton and Gareth Bale". guardian.co.uk. 13 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Old pal Bale drives Warburton on to wear Wales red". South Wales Echo. 22 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "Feature: Sam Warburton's journey from Rhiwbina to the Wales captaincy". Western Mail. 4 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Cathy Owen (8 July 2014). "First picture appears of rugby star on his wedding day". Western Mail (Wales). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Wales 2010 Six Nations Squad". BBC News. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  10. ^ "Italy 16-24 Wales". BBC Sport. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Sam Warburton leads Wales in New Zealand". BBC Sport. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Player of Pool D: Sam Warburton". Official Rugby World Cup Site. 4 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "As It Happened: Wales 8-9 France". RTÉ Sport. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Sam Warburton defies physics and logic on his big day out at Twickenham". Daily Mail. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  15. ^ "Wales skipper Sam Warburton speaks of his "guilt" at half time injury substitution". Wales Online. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "A power play from Gatland: Lions coach opts for bulk in a squad built to bulldoze Australia". Daily Mail. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Sam Warburton fits bill in back row and as the captain". Guardian. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Warburton performance 'most outstanding in Lions shirt ever'". Daily Mail. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Australia 21 Lions 23". ESPN Scrum. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paul O'Connell
British and Irish Lions Captain
2013
Succeeded by
Incumbent