Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions

Advertisement

Lions determined - Warburton

21st June 2013 06:23

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Sam Warburton British Irish Lions v Waratahs

Sam Warburton: Desperate for success

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton believes the desire to win their first series in 16 years will drive his side to success over Australia.

The Lions have not won a series since Martin Johnson's men delivered the goods against South Africa in 1997.

Since that tour, the Lions have won two, drawn one and lost seven of their Test matches, and they were beaten 2-1 by the Wallabies 12 years ago.

But Warburton feels the desire is there to make history, starting with a win in the opening Test in Brisbane on Saturday.

"Everybody is desperate to achieve," he said.

"It's the one thing you will see in the body language of every player for every game, because none of us has achieved a Lions Test series win.

"It's something you desperately want to have on your rugby CV. We've got Heineken Cup winners, Grand Slam winners, English champions - all these competitions, but nobody's ticked the Lions box.

"That's something which I think we will be pretty desperate in wanting to achieve. That's the one thing which will be a certainty in all three matches - the players' determination to get a result."

In Warburton's favour this weekend will be the fact the Wallabies haven't played since last December and will be fielding three new caps.

History also shows that the Lions have yet to lose a Test in Brisbane, with seven successive victories stretching back to 1899.

The Lions may have lost their unbeaten tour record against the Brumbies in Canberra on Tuesday after five straight wins, but Warburton doesn't feel that will affect morale in any way.

"The Brumbies were a well drilled outfit - physically excellent, they competed hard at the breakdown," added the 24-year-old.

"But we had five players in the back-line playing their first game.

"It was always going to be a difficult ask against the top (provincial) side in Australia. It won't have affected our confidence - you don't have time to dwell. If we can win the Test series people won't remember the Brumbies game."

The Wales and Cardiff Blues flanker has led the Lions to two weekend wins, against the Reds and the Waratahs, after overcoming a knee injury and will be looking for a hat-trick at Suncorp Stadium.

"I have been thinking about this for quite a while, how it might feel," said Warburton.

"But I won't truly know until I actually do it.

"The last two games have been awesome, but I know it will be at another level again on Saturday.

"I have led Wales out in some pretty big games, but that will be blown out of water by the Lions, which is the ultimate pinnacle in rugby - I'm very proud to be doing it."