Warburton: I'll never take Wales captaincy for granted

Free Press Series: 25.06.14 - Welsh Rugby Union and T M Lewin partnership announcement, Cardiff - 
© Huw Evans Agency, Cardiff (7553788) 25.06.14 - Welsh Rugby Union and T M Lewin partnership announcement, Cardiff - © Huw Evans Agency, Cardiff (7553788)

SAM Warburton admits he must play a waiting game before finding out if he will lead Wales in their autumn series after Alun Wyn Jones impressed again as his deputy.

The 25-year-old openside flanker is back training with Cardiff Blues after suffering a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the two-Test series against South Africa.

Jones captained Wales superbly against the Springboks and also proved to be an able deputy in the summer of 2013 when leading the Lions to glory in the third Test against Australia.

The Ospreys lock was praised for the way that he led his country by coaches Warren Gatland and Rob Howley, prompting calls from some quarters to hand the 28-year-old the job permanently.

Warburton, who was man of the match against Scotland in 2013 when Ryan Jones was skipper, says he isn't taking the captaincy for granted when Wales take on Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa in November.

"This happens every campaign," said the flanker. "I never, ever expect that the captaincy is set in stone.

"When we have the team announcement the players all find out via text about noon, and that's when I always find out (if he is captain).

"I never pre-empt anything. I couldn't walk down the street and call myself captain of Wales now. I have to wait until the next series.

"I guess that's open now. I'll just return to the Blues now, train really hard - I'm really enjoying being back in pre-season.

"Hopefully, I'll come to play in September in the best shape I've been in since the World Cup of 2011 and I'll get some good performances under my best."

- Warburton was speaking at the announcement of four-year deal with TM Lewin to provide the Wales national side, Under-20s, Under-18s, Sevens and Women with their formal clothing.

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