British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton confident the squad will be ready

Last Updated: 20/05/13 4:09pm

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Sam Warburton: Insists the Lions will be ready

Sam Warburton: Insists the Lions will be ready

Sky Bet

Sam Warburton insists the British and Irish Lions squad will be ready for their 10-match summer tour despite domestic finals hampering their preparations.

Players from Leinster, Ulster, Leicester and Northampton, as well as Toulon prop Gethin Jenkins, have been unable to join the 37-strong squad's session because of their club commitments.

Leinster lifted the Amlin Challenge Cup final on Friday but there has been no time for celebrations as they will now face Ulster in Saturday's final of the RaboDirect PRO12, while across at Twickenham Leicester and Northampton clash for the Aviva Premiership title.

That means those players will only have a limited amount of time to integrate with the rest of the squad before they depart for Hong Kong ahead of the warm-up game with the Barbarians June 1.

However tour captain Warburton is confident the Lions will be in good shape for the match.

"I think we should be quite well prepared for the Barbarians game," Warburton told Sky Sports.


"Preparation won't be an excuse as we will have had three weeks together before kick-off and the BaaBaas will have had less preparation time than us."

Having met up in London for their official get together, the remaining Lions players have gone on to take part in training sessions in Wales and Ireland. And Warburton insists there is a feel-good factor in the camp under head coach Warren Gatland.

"He is extremely optimistic as all Kiwis are and that's what I am like myself and I think his confidence rubs off on the players," added Warburton.

"I think everyone is ready now. On the Monday when we had those meetings we were just looking forward to getting on the training pitch, getting the ball in the hands and getting prepared for that first game because this is what everyone dreams of going on a Lions tour.

"The opportunity will pass you by if you don't embrace it."

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