Warburton back in action

Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:44
Large sam warburton celebrates Large sam warburton injured Large sam warburton in stands

B&I Lions skipper Sam Warburton will return to action well ahead of schedule for Cardiff Blues’ match against Leinster on Friday.

British and Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton will return to action well ahead of schedule for Cardiff Blues’ match against defending Pro12 champions Leinster on Friday.

The Wales flank suffered a torn hamstring in the second Test against Australia in Melbourne, an injury which kept him out of the deciding fixture with the Wallabies.

An early recovery period of between 12 and 16 weeks was the initial prediction but with Warburton returning for this weekend's trip to Leinster, the 24-year-old is well ahead of schedule.

After the Blues' disappointing defeat to Zebre last Friday, Warburton's return is the perfect tonic for boss Phil Davies as he prepares his side for a visit to last year's champions.

"We've got Sam Warburton back in the team starting and we've made a few changes," Davies confirmed.

"Some are through injury, some through necessity but it's a great challenge for us playing the champions at their home ground.

"If you can't look forward to that as a rugby player, there's something wrong with you."

The Blues have a poor record in Dublin and were comfortably beaten by Leinster at the RDS last season. But with Warburton and fellow Lions Leigh Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert all set to start, Davies has a near full strength side available. Wales wing Harry Robinson is also set to return.

"Sam wanted to play. He himself has done a phenomenal job, as have the medical department," Davies added.

"He's five weeks ahead of schedule and that's down to his diligence. He was knocking the door down to play which is fantastic. It's really exciting.

"It says a lot about our medical department. Sam is one of the most professional players you'll ever wish to meet. It's down to him and the doctors who have been working on him.

"We've got an anti-gravity treadmill and I know that's helped his cardio vascular fitness."

A trip to Leinster is not going to be an easy task, especially following the Blues' result against Zebre. Davies though, argues his side have put the defeat behind them.

He said: "We came in on Monday and all of us made our feelings know.

"We're striving to be successful but sometimes setbacks drive teams forwards and that's what we're doing this week.

"We've trained very well and built on the work as well as looking at where we can improve for a pretty uncompromising fixture this weekend."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 22 16 0 6 73
Connacht 22 15 0 7 73
Glasgow Warriors 22 14 1 7 72
Ulster 22 14 0 8 69
Scarlets 22 14 0 8 63
Munster 22 13 0 9 63
Cardiff Blues 22 11 0 11 56
Ospreys 22 11 1 10 55
Edinburgh 22 11 0 11 54
Dragons 22 4 0 18 26
Zebre 22 5 0 17 24
Treviso 22 3 0 19 20