Warbuton to captain 2013 British and Irish Lions

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has named Sam Warburton as the 2013 British and Irish Lions captain.

Warburton becomes the 28th captain of the British & Irish Lions and will
lead them to Hong Kong and Australia in June on a 10-match, three-Test match
Tour.

The 24-year-old Warburton becomes only the fourth Welshman to lead a Lions
Tour party.

Warburton has extensive and impressive captaincy credentials, having led Wales
Under-20s at the IRB Junior World Championships and Wales at the 2011 Rugby
World Cup and Grand Slam honours in 2012. He has won 38 caps for Wales and will
be the first Cardiff Blues player to lead The Lions.

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: “In the last 12 months the composition
of the touring party and the appointment of the captain has created much speculation
and debate, and today it is great that we at last announce our captain and players
to represent the very best of British & Irish rugby. Being selected as a
Lion is a huge honour for a player and marks a major highlight in his career.

“I would particularly like to congratulate Sam who becomes one of the
youngest ever Lions captains. We have an existing working relationship through
the Wales team and Sam is an impressive individual and natural leader and I
look forward to working with him in the coming weeks and on the Tour.”

Warburton said: “Being selected as a British & 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.

“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.”

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