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Sam Warburton ready for career pinnacle

Updated: Friday, 21 Jun 2013 10:14 | Comments

Sam Warburton will decide on his pre-match words in the heat of the moment
Sam Warburton will decide on his pre-match words in the heat of the moment

Sam Warburton will fulfil a childhood dream when he steps onto the pitch as a British and Irish Lion - but he has no idea what his final inspirational words will be before the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Warren Gatland's side will take to the Suncorp Stadium pitch tomorrow as they bid to win their first Lions tour since 1997 and Warburton, who will lead the team out as captain, is ready for the pinnacle of his career.

"I have been thinking about tomorrow since I was 14 years old," he told The Times.

"It will be the biggest moment of my career, without a doubt. I thought leading Wales out against France in the World Cup semi-final and in the Grand Slam match of 2012 were special, but this will top them all.

"I suppose people will be wondering what my message will be come the last minutes of the changing room tomorrow evening here. My honest answer is that I do not know.

"I will just wait for the moment and gauge what needs to be said."

Warburton hopes the build-up to the game will be given an extra level of significance when the match jerseys are presented.

"I found myself kissing my Lions jersey the other day as I was packing it up for another flight," he said.

"It was the one I wore for the first half of my debut against Queensland Reds. I cannot imagine what I will be like with the one given to me tomorrow.

"I am rather hoping that someone special us brought in to present them to us, as has happened on previous tours when, say, Willie John McBride did that in Australia in 2001.

"I have not heard that it is happening but it would present a powerful message."

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