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Sam Warburton “humbled and proud” to be Lions captain again

Sam Warburton has been confirmed as the British & Irish Lions captain for the second Tour in a row.

Warburton will lead the tourists to New Zealand next month as they look to become the first Lions party to claim a Test series win over the All Blacks in 46 years.

Warburton joins Martin Johnson as the only two men to have captained two Lions parties in succession.

The Cardiff Blues flanker was skipper in 2013 as the Lions downed the Wallabies to claim their first series win in 16 years.

On the eve of the announcement Warburton attended a private dinner with all the living Lions captains in the Hilton Syon Park.

“It is hard to put into words, even four years later 2013 hasn’t really sunk in, but last night with all the other captains and you see that company and who you are with,” he said.

“Being in the same room as so many Lions legends was an amazing experience. I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second Tour and look forward to playing the world champions on their own turf with the best players of the UK and Ireland at my side.”

Warburton is currently recovering from a knee ligament strain but the flanker insists he will be firing fit by the time the Tour rolls around.

“I found out last Thursday in a supermarket car park when I got the call,” he added.

“My wife was getting some bread and milk. The cashier loves rugby so I didn’t want to get asked any questions about the Lions.

“I hung up on Gats the first time, I thought it was one of the guys at the Blues messing around with my phone. I’ve had it every day for the last three weeks, the boys asking me but I genuinely didn’t know until Thursday.

“The injury is fine, it’s something I have experienced in past so I know how to manage it and there is no doubt it will be 100% for the start of the Tour.”

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