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Leinster 19:35 Cardiff Blues

Heineken Cup: Cardiff Blues' Sam Warburton relishing Exeter test

Last Updated: 10/10/13 8:01am

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Sam Warburton: Relishing cup challenge

Sam Warburton: Relishing cup challenge

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Cardiff Blues' Sam Warburton admits their Heineken Cup opener will be tough against Exeter, but he is confident they can get a positive result.

The Welsh region have been grouped with current champions Toulon, unbeaten RaboDirect PRO12 leaders Glasgow and Aviva Premiership outfit Exeter in Pool 2.

No Welsh side has won the elite European competition and British and Irish Lions skipper Warburton is relishing the test ahead.

He told Sky Sports: "It is a tough pool but I don't think we would have it any other way. With the Heineken Cup, I think it is always the case.

"We had a good game against Toulon at home last year - we lost unfortunately, but we've got a better squad this year.

"So you should win your home games, sneak an away win and then it opens the group up wide open then."


Warburton admits getting an away win at Exeter 'will be very tough' but he is confident going into Sunday's clash, which is being shown live on Sky Sports 2 HD.

"Exeter are a very good English side, we've done a bit of analysis on them, but it's going to be tough as every group game will be for us," he said.

"With Exeter, Glasgow and Toulon, that's three top sides there who could go through and do very well in the latter stages.

"So we'll have to be at our best. It's going to be tough, I think we have got one of the tougher groups but I'm really looking forward to it.

"(There are) some ex-players, the Cardiff boys down there, Tom James and the likes of those, so it's a game we're really looking forward to and very confident we can get a result."

As regards a Welsh side never having lifted the Heineken Cup, he admitted: "I can't put my finger on that to be honest. The players are well aware of it - it's always in the press in Wales.

"Obviously everybody would like to see the regions to do better but when we sit down at the start of every season, the target is to always to get to the knock-out stage of Heineken Cup.

"I'm hoping that this year, obviously I hope the Blues can do it but I'll be a fan of all the regions and hope one of the four of us will get through and hopefully represent Wales in the latter stages of the tournament then."

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