Sam Warburton, who so famously led Wales to the World Cup Semi Final in the autumn, has declared he will have no issues standing aside if Matthew Rees is reappointed captain for the upcoming Six Nations campaign.
Rees led Wales in last year’s Six Nations, only to miss the World Cup in New Zealand with a neck injury. Warburton stepped into his boots and received a huge amount of praise from all sides for his leadership skills, despite his sending off against France proving a crucial part of their eventual elimination from the tournament.
Warburton though, who has also been named Rugby Writers Club’s personality of the year this week insists it is playing for his country that is the most important thing to him whether that be as captain or under someone such as Rees.
Warburton told BBC sport “I’ve had no indication what’s going to happen, but Matthew was captain for the last Six Nations campaign. He did a brilliant job and it was only bad luck why he didn’t end up being captain in the World Cup”.
The young flanker clearly has respect for Rees and seems perfectly happy to have taken the role on simply a temporary basis. If both were in the side, it might be worth a cheeky Bet on Six Nations runners-up Wales actually winning it this time around!
The fact that Wales are likely to be under a lot of pressure to perform at the forthcoming tournament has not been lost on Warburton or anyone in the Welsh set up. Warburton has explained how Shaun Edwards and Alun Wyn Jones “reckon we play better under pressure”.
The Welsh Rugby public will no doubt be hoping so. After their performance in the World Cup it is no surprise to see Wales as close second favourites for the tournament behind World Cup finalists France. (That has to be worth using up your Free Bet on Rugby Union matches!)
The Welsh public will no doubt get right behind their side when they kick off their campaign in Dublin on February 5th, whoever is their captain when the side run out for that game, can rely on that.