Warren Gatland Makes Sam Warburton Request
Warren Gatland has revealed that he would rather Cardiff Blues give Sam Warburton the rest of the season off.
The Lions captain is currently out injured with a knee problem, but could be in line to make a return with the Cardiff Blues for their Champions Cup play-off against Stade Francais on Friday with a potential final for the Welsh region taking place seven days later.
Gatland however has requested that his captain remain in the Lions camp with his team and continue his progress.
“It would be ideal for us if he didn’t play for the Blues,” said Gatland, who wants Warburton to prove his match fitness in New Zealand.
“Sam thinks he is ok at the moment. The plan is that he will stay with us and do some hard conditioning work with contact as well.”
Gatland also revealed that he would like Warburton to lead the Lions in their tour opener against the Provincial Barbarians on June 3. It’s unlikely Warburton will be fit for Cardiff anyway, so Gatland is likely to get his request.