British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton not taking his place for granted

Last Updated: 16/05/13 11:43am

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Sam Warburton: Expects to have to fight for his place

Sam Warburton: Expects to have to fight for his place

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Sam Warburton has insisted he is not guaranteed a start for the British and Irish Lions despite being awarded the captaincy.

The Wales flanker is determined to avoid complacency after being named as captain when coach Warren Gatland unveiled his squad earlier this month.

"You don't want to become complacent and think you have got a starting place in the team," he said. "I like it when you go into the team announcements and you are on the edge not knowing if you are going to get picked.

"Knowing that you might not be involved is what keeps you going in training and keeps you dedicated off the pitch as well."

The 24-year-old is now looking forward to starting training with the Lions squad, and he has been impressed with the unity among the players.

"You don't want to become complacent and think you have got a starting place in the team," he said. "I like it when you go into the team announcements and you are on the edge not knowing if you are going to get picked."
Sam Warburton

"You wonder what it is going to be like, but we've had all the meet and greets, trying on all the kit - there was a monumental amount of kit to get through on Monday - and now we can get back to training," Warburton added.

Options

"The boys have gelled really quickly, as I thought and hoped they would.

"The schedule from a Lions point of view could be better, but we have just got to deal with what we've got at the moment. We've still got good numbers in training, so there are still plenty of options.

"What Warren has emphasised is that he feels he has a squad where everyone can compete for a Test starting XV place, and that's the best way to be, so everyone is on edge in training.

"Even just lifting weights and doing fitness work, you can tell people have lifted it from international level. The standard and the bar has been raised, and all the boys are gunning for those Test spots."

The squad will be based in Wales until Friday, before a weekend off and then reconvening for another week's camp at the Ireland training base near Dublin.

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