DFP Header Area

Warburton return will boost Blues

Guinness PRO12 Editor

26 Apr 2011

Sam Warburton is set to hand Cardiff Blues a major boost in the Magners League Play-Off race.

There had been suggestions that Warburton would miss the remainder of the regular season after he picked up a knee injury in Wales' RBS 6 Nations finale against France.

But the young flanker is on track to return to action for Friday night’s massive clash with local rivals Newport Gwent Dragons.

The news could not be more timely for Dai Young's men. Not only do they know a bonus-point win at Rodney Parade will guarantee them a place in the Play-Offs but they will be without Martyn Williams who will be a guest at the Royal Wedding.

And Warburton, who has established himself above Williams in the pecking order for both club and country, is determined to make the top four as the Blues seek a first-ever Magners League crown.

"The Magners is a great league and we've got two big games in front of us to make the Play-Offs," Warburton told Media Wales.

"I feel it’s really exciting times ahead at the Blues and I think that’s shown in everyone signing long-term deals.

"Everyone wants to stay for the future to achieve something. It speaks volumes of how much they enjoy playing for the Blues."

Warburton is among host of young players to have committed his future to the region in recent weeks and he admits there is no where else he would rather play.

"Some us are already established with Wales and Daf Hewitt and Andries Pretorious have been probably our two best players this season," added Warburton.

"I remember playing against Leigh Halfpenny at school level as we were in the same year.

"We played together for Wales all the way through under 16,18,19 and 20 and I have known Bradley Davies and Daf a long time through being in the academy set up.

"We have all been given a chance by the Blues and we all really appreciate it and are keen to repay them.

"I guess I had the chance to move abroad, but it was never an option. I'm a Cardiff boy and I'm as proud to play for the Blues as I am to play for Wales.

"I was born and bred here, it’s a great city, a city I love, and they are my local club, the club I always wanted to play for."