Six Nations

Warburton issues warning

2014-02-14 21:00
Sam Warburton (File)

London - Sam Warburton has promised "everyone the Wales they know" when the faltering Six Nations champions face France in Cardiff a week on Friday.

Wales' hopes of an unprecedented third successive outright Six Nations title were dealt a huge blow by a thumping 26-3 loss to Ireland last time out.

Although Wales won the Championship with one loss, also to Ireland, last season they cannot afford any more slip-ups given the huge points advantage enjoyed by the currently unbeaten Irish and French, not to mention third-placed England.

"The players are desperate to show everyone the Wales they know," said Wales captain Warburton, who will be in Celtic League action for Cardiff Blues on Saturday in a bid to gain more match-fitness following a shoulder injury.

"The result was a massive disappointment with a lot of uncharacteristic errors," the flanker added.

"From a structural point of view as forwards we have to take responsibility. We simply didn't replicate what we had done in training during the game, and that is disappointing.

"It was frustrating. We weren't urgent enough and our ball-retention wasn't good enough, but the things that went wrong can all be put right and we are working hard to do so in the build-up to France.

"Individually and collectively we are all eager to put it right. It's not like we have finished the campaign. We have a chance to put it right.

"We have won 10 out of our last 12 Six Nations games, and we need to remember that."

Refecting on Wales' Dublin drubbing, Warburton added: "We are used to meeting up at the start of the week in a positive mood, so this week has been a little different.

"We took a day to look back and reflect. Now, the focus is on putting it right, and we have got that opportunity in front of our home crowd to put in a performance and get the result against France.

"In hindsight, it's similar to the England game last year (Wales won by a record 30-3 scoreline). What happened to us (in Dublin) is similar to what happened to them that day.

"In the match against England we were on the money and they weren't, and that was the case against Ireland."

Wales coach Warren Gatland is due to name his side to play France on Wednesday amid suggestions Warburton will move from openside to blindside flanker so the impressive Justin Tipuric can also start in the back row.

But Warburton's immediate priority is to get through Saturday's match for the Blues after starting just one game in 10 weeks.

"I'm looking forward to playing this weekend. It's a win-win situation," he said ahead of an Arms Park fixture with Glasgow.

"Hopefully, I can help them pick up some points in the league, and for me I get the benefit of getting some more miles in the legs as well.

"It will be great to be back and put the blue jersey back on. I haven't played for them since October, so it's been a good few months."

Read more on:    six nations  |  sam warburton  |  rugby
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