Sam Warburton – Captain Marvel
Sam Warburton has admitted defeat in his ongoing battle with a series of persistent injuries that has seen him call time on his playing career at the young age of 29. He was captain of Wales since 2011 and captained the British and Irish Lions on two tours in 2013 when they beat Australia 2-1 to win a first series since 1997 against South Africa and against in 2017 against New Zealand and that series was drawn after a 15 all draw in the third Test.
He was capped 79 times by Wales, he captained them a record 49 times in those 79 caps. He played his club rugby with Cardiff Blues for the entirety of his professional career. He appeared at two World Cups in 2011 and 2015 and made 11 appearances at those two Tournaments.
He was captain when Wales were beaten by France in the 2011 World Cup Semi Final where he was sent off by Irish referee Alain Rolland. He is only the 2nd man to captain two different British and Irish Lions Tours after Martin Johnson.
Sam Warburton has made a big decision to end his playing career after trying extremely hard to get back playing after being ruled out of the entire 2017/2018 season with injury. He gave himself the time off to try and get back to full fitness and had begun the Pre Season work with Cardiff Blues in preparation for the upcoming 2018/2019 season.
His retirement again shows the lengths players will go to try and continue there playing careers. His body just said enough was enough and this prompted his announcement today to retire from professional rugby.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish Sam all the very best in his retirement. You can be sure he will give his all in whatever he does into the future…….
Cian Mc Gibney