Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

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Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by munkian on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 11:56 am

Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/44869719

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has retired from rugby at the age of 29 after winning 79 Test caps.

The former Wales captain has not played since leading the 2017 Lions to a drawn series against New Zealand.

The back-rower recently returned to Cardiff Blues training after being sidelined for 2017-18 by knee and neck surgery.

"My body is unable to give me back what I had hoped for on my return to training," said Warburton.

Wales and Lions coach Warren Gatland said: "It is hugely disappointing that Sam has retired from the game.

"He is an outstanding rugby player and he has brought so much to the game on and off the pitch.

"His leadership, attitude and demeanour along with his performances have placed Sam up there as one of the best and most respected players in the world.

"He finishes with a record that he should be extremely proud of and should look back on his career with huge pride."

More to follow.
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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 11:59 am

With the amount of injuries he has suffered, not really a shock.

A real shame for him personally, but over the last year Wales have been able to blood players who have really stepped up and would have made it very difficult for Warburton to get back into the Welsh side.

It is always sad when players have to retire early. Warburton will however be able to look back at a very successful career.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by Tramptastic on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:05 pm

Absolute cracking player and always seemed like a decent bloke during interviews and punditry!

Totally gutted for him

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by munkian on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:07 pm

He's a very good pundit, he'll make a fantastic coach too.

Despite being in a good place its a huge loss to club, country and the Lions.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by SecretFly on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:29 pm

Tramptastic wrote:Absolute cracking player and always seemed like a decent bloke during interviews and punditry!


Probably more important to me than his playing - being nice is an overlooked quality.  Liked his humility and respect for the opposition he played against.  It's always striking how quickly the landscape changes in rugby.  You go away from it (as an observer) for a few months or a season and there is a strong possibility that you'll be amazed at all the new faces on the block when you come back and the number of old faces that might have retired in the interval.

Warburton was a bit like Heaslip, the kind of player you didn't pay much heed to being absent from teamsheets through injury because you always somehow expected them to be back...they always came back.... they seemed eternal in a way as players.

...but not this time.  

So a blunt end to a notable career for Sam (as happens in rugby).  Tough career to sustain with the intensity of the game.  I think he'll be happy enough after a few weeks when he realises he's had a good run and that it's time to leave the knocks to the new whipper snappers

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:29 pm

Big loss to rugby. Class player when fit but as suggested it was and perhaps was always a rare feat. Hope he stays involved in the game somehow.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by RiscaGame on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:31 pm

He has had a fantastic career. It isn't a great shock, but it is a huge shame that he has to go out so young. What he has achieved has been brilliant though and hopefully now his body can recover as best as possible. I am sure he won't be short of offers within the rugby environment, particularly punditry with how articulate he is.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by TightHEAD on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:31 pm

Crying or Very sad

Hope the BBC drop Guscott, Andy Nicol or even Jiffy and offer Sam a job.


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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by RiscaGame on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:32 pm

I am sure he will be missed by referees too, with how politely he dealt with them. A class act.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by marty2086 on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:35 pm

For his long term health he probably should have maybe done it sooner or taken an extended break such as the ones guys like Pocock and McCaw have done in the past.

Probably says a lot about his character that he always fought back and wanted to lead from the front

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by lostinwales on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:41 pm

He can't be far off having a record of playing more for Wales than for Cardiff

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:42 pm

Don't get me wrong, Sam was a giant of the game, both on and off the field, but I have been saying for a long time now, that he needed to hang up his boots and consider his longer term health.

He was/is an injury waiting to happen, I am glad he is taking his health seriously and I think he has made the right choice.

I wish him all the best in whatever he does going forwards, and I agree with the people on here who say he will make a good pundit, he comes across as very intelligent and knowledgeable. I think he can be a future Wales head coach in the making.

He will always leave a big hole to fill, such was his ability, and presence, but I think, here in Wales, we are for the first time in my memory in a position where we can absorb this loss without much of a worry. Which is not a reflection on him by the way.

Thanks for all you have given to Welsh rugby Sam. Now time to move onto the next chapter.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 12:56 pm

lostinwales wrote:He can't be far off having a record of playing more for Wales than for Cardiff

79 tests (5 for Lions)
69 Pro12
33 Europe
1 LV Cup

So he played more for Cardiff than Wales, but more matches for Wales than in the Pro12

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 1:20 pm

I hated the fact that he hardly ever played in the Pro12/14 for Cardiff, but always seemed to be available for Wales.

But I suppose with his brittle body, well, brittle compared to other players and not us mere mortals, he had to cherry pick the games he played and like anybody else, you would prefer the higher profile ones.

Best of luck to him I say.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by Tramptastic on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 1:35 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Crying or Very sad

Hope the BBC drop Guscott, Andy Nicol or even Jiffy and offer Sam a job.

The contrast in quality punditry was so stark when Warburton was on camera alongside the above. He's articulate with his thoughts but also as he is/was a current pro his knowledge of the game was far superior to the 3 dinosaurs named. I'd rather listen to Warburton's punditry than hear jiffy squealing about numbers again!

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by rodders on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 1:40 pm

Sad news, probably a controversial pick as Lions captain last summer but he was superb in the last 2 tests.

Seemed to be injured a lot but was a genuine world class player when fit.
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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by BamBam on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 1:44 pm

Hope he enjoys his retirement, and agree with those who would like to see him back in the game in some capacity

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by PhilBB on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 1:57 pm

At a pre-season game versus Bristol in 2016, all of the non-playing squad were sitting in front of us and Warburton was amongst them. During the game, the queue for selfies with him was growing longer and longer.

All he wanted to do was to watch the game with his team mates, but he made time for each person who wanted that selfie (both young and old) to his credit. He chatted with each in turn, never looked like he was uncomfortable or upset or disinterested in any of them. This went on for the whole game.

And that is a microcosm of 100 minutes or so of his life, a life where some would give him disapproving looks if he was collecting a takeaway on a weekend let's not forget.

So, yes, not only one of the finest players of the modern era but a model professional. Let's hope he's able to stay within the game in whatever capacity he chooses.
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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 2:02 pm

It's a shame to see such a great player having to retire due to injury, yet it is becoming almost inevitable that such a player would have to do so. Guys like Stephen Ferris (@28), Ross Rennie (@28), Sam Jones (@26), and now Warburton who 'put their bodies on the line' are having to retire relatively young. In Sam's case he seemed to be forever being rushed back from injury (especially on Lions tours), and the suspicion was that he was playing under a 'short term gain being worth long term pain' mantra.

Hopefully he can now draw a line under his injury list and allow full recovery to open up new opportunities - he has a reputation for being a world class individual, so whatever he chooses to do it will undoubtedly be a success.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by The Oracle on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 2:52 pm

Wow, didn’t expect to read that today..... but in the back of my mind always suspected he would have to retire early, even if I didn’t want to believe it.

As others have said, a superb player when fit, a top bloke and a consummate professional. I remember reading an interview with him early in his career when he said that he didn’t drink and also trained on Christmas Day. When asked why he said that he knew his rivals would take the day off so training on Christmas Day gave him the edge on rivals! Although saying that, perhaps all of the extra training is what has eventually done for him. As a comparison, he was in the same class in school with Gareth Bale - one is now retiring through wear and tear while the other is probably just reaching the peak of his career and can probably expect to carry on for another 6 or 7 years quite easily raking in the big bucks. Such is the difference between the two sports.

Agree about him as a pundit. Very complimentary about the opposition, about former rivals for his own jersey, etc. Very articulate and refreshing to see someone ‘on the inside’ of the modern game who’s able to articulate the plays and moves compared to the old guard such as Jiffy and Moore who have not been in the modern pro environment. Will hopefully be involved much more in punditry going forward.
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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by carpet baboon on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 3:03 pm

Great player, and even more importantly in this day and age, an absolutely fantastic person.
We should all try and be a bit more like Sam.
Hope he finds happiness in whatever he turns to next, and selfishly hope he stays within the rugby community, as I think he still has a tremendous amount to offer

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 6:40 pm

Sad loss for rugby - top bloke and has been a great servant for Wales and The Lions  clap

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by Mr Bounce on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 7:38 pm

As an England fan he was one of the worst names to see on the opposition Teamsheet and one of the greatest modern players to play for the Lions, and Captain them of course.

A fabulous player and an utter gentleman both on the pitch and off it. I feel for him re his injury issues forcing an early retirement but like others have said it's not entirely a surprise.

I am sure he'll do extremely well in what ever he puts his mind to.


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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by RiscaGame on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 7:46 pm

Have been watching a few of the videos various teams have released and they have been great tributes. The Cardiff Blues one was especially good. I had forgotten about some of the big things he did, like that tackle on Manu Tuilagi for one.

Think my favourite memory of him (that has always stuck with me), is that pre match speech before the first test of Australia v the B and I Lions. Have watched that a few times before playing.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 6:05 pm

Mixed feelings to be honest.

The retirement announcement was a shock to begin, yet not really a suprise. He has spent more time on the physio table than most pro players will ever have to, I doubt there’s much of his body that hasn’t been damaged in one way or another for the cause.

He has achieved a great deal in his career, and has more accolades to his name than many players. He was, an no doubt will still be, a real ambassador for the sport. And I’m sure he will end up being a top pundit and/or coach. However, I do think that he happened to fit in well with the welsh (and lions as they were the same) setup, which helped him achieve more W than he may have achieved inder a different setup. And I do think that as sad as it is he has had to retire, for his legacy, it may well be better now than hanging on and finding himself falling out of favour (thinking of the likes of Martyn Williams and Adam Jones).

Also, still not sure I’ve forgiven him for breaking ranks and signing that central contract.
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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 9:01 pm

Good man
Fine player
Terrific leader
Tough as nails
Role model

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 4:40 am

Sad

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 10:41 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Also, still not sure I’ve forgiven him for breaking ranks and signing that central contract.

I'd forgotten about that. I remember Roger Lewis grinning like a Cheshire tw@t in the official photo.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by VinceWLB on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 11:06 am

That's a shock, and i'm quite astonished he didn't try to push on until the WC which is basically just around the corner.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 12:48 pm

Yeah, I had forgotten about the DC thing too.

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Re: Sam Warburton: Lions captain announces shock retirement

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 7:30 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:Also, still not sure I’ve forgiven him for breaking ranks and signing that central contract.

I'd forgotten about that. I remember Roger Lewis grinning like a Cheshire tw@t in the official photo.

It’s very hard to forget that at a time when we wanted our captain to stand with us, he sided against us. That and his appearance stats, show he was an international rugby player first and form most. Not knocking him or his career, and he will go down as a great. Just one chapter of the story that has been forgotten by many.
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