Sam Warburton 'honoured' to be asked to lead the British and Irish Lions

Last Updated: 01/05/13 9:31am

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Sam Warburton: Honoured to lead the British and Irish Lions

Sam Warburton: Honoured to lead the British and Irish Lions

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Sam Warburton admits he is honoured to have been named as the new captain of the British and Irish Lions.

The 24-year-old, the youngest Welshman to lead the Lions, is the first Wales captain since Phil Bennett in 1977.

And the flanker, who led Wales to the World Cup semi-final in 2011 and the Grand Slam the following year, is relishing the chance to lead the 37-man squad.

"Being selected as a British and Irish Lions tourist is itself a huge honour and something that I, like all players, have dreamed about.

"To be asked to lead the tour as captain to Australia is unbelievable and I am very, very honored to be asked.

Confident

"It is a proud honour for me, Cardiff Blues and Wales, and to follow in the steps of former Welsh Lions' captains such as John Dawes and Phil Bennett is amazing. As the latest custodian I will endeavor to do the very best job I can.

"The Tour to Hong Kong and Australia will be a huge challenge against one of the top three teams in the world.

"However, I am confident that we have the ambition, talent and attitude to mount a serious challenge against the Wallabies on their home soil and return victorious."

Warburton found out on April 21 that he would lead the squad and he admitted it had not been easy to keep it quiet.

He told Sky Sports: "To achieve this is very unexpected. I was watching the last tour four years ago and just winning my first cap for Wales out in America. If someone told me then I would be captain of the next trip I would have thought they were joking.

"I found out about nine, ten days ago. I told my fiancee and my mum and dad, so I will have some angry friends back home as I didn't tell them. It was a difficult secret to keep."

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