British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton planning to lay down marker

Last Updated: 08/06/13 8:09am

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Sam Warburton will make his Lions debut against Queensland Reds on Saturday

Sam Warburton will make his Lions debut against Queensland Reds on Saturday

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British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton admits he is under pressure to perform when he makes his debut against Queensland Reds on Saturday.

The flanker has recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him for the opening two games and will be joined in the back row by Wales teammates Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau.

Opensides Justin Tipuric and Sean O'Brien have both impressed in the wins over the Barbarians and Western Force, and Warburton plans to hit the ground running in Brisbane.

"All the back-rowers have done exceptionally well, which makes selection very difficult."
Sam Warburton

"All the back-rowers have done exceptionally well, which makes selection very difficult," he said.

"I've been thinking about this game for quite a while, it can't come quick enough, and I'm desperate to get out on the pitch.

"It's been tough to watch the last two games knowing the players have got their jerseys in their kit bags to take home with them and I haven't got one yet.

"It's been the best three weeks of my rugby career since we've got together. I've absolutely loved it even though I haven't played."

Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie has picked his strongest available side, including fly-half Quade Cooper, and Warburton says the out-of-favour star will be out to prove a point to Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

"(Cooper) is an outstanding player with great footwork and I'm sure he'll pose a different threat at 10 than what we've faced in the last two weeks," said Warburton.

"He'll definitely be an attacking threat and that's what you want to test your defence."



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