Warburton’s knee a concern for Wales

Date published: March 1 2015

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A possible knee injury for Sam Warburton was the only black note on stemming from Wales' victory over France on Saturday.

Warburton and Wales coach Warren Gatland revealed that he would be icing the knee extensively after the game before reassessing on Sunday.

"My knee just swelled up and I couldn't run at full pelt. It is just a bit of swelling. I will be up every two hours tonight icing it, and reassess tomorrow morning."

"With Sam's knee, we are not too sure how serious that is," said Gatland.

"He won't be going to the dinner tonight, he is going back to the hotel and we are just hoping it is not too serious. He has just taken a knock on the knee, and it is probably just waiting for 12 hours or so."

Gatland was delighted that his side were now back in contention for the title, having won their last two matches since defeat to England in Round 1.

"We were disappointed with our second-half performance against England (three weeks ago). We were written off by a lot of people," Gatland said.

"There was an improvement against Scotland, and it was another step up tonight. We are back in contention, although we need a couple of results to go our way.

"In terms of the performance, I thought the forwards were outstanding. The lineout was excellent and we scrummaged well. And we went out and played some rugby. The better team deserved to win. If we can win against Ireland, we are potentially in with a chance.

"We spoke beforehand that Wales have not achieved four wins in a row against France since the 1950s, so there was potential to create something that was a bit special today.

"I thought our composure and experience was what got us over the line. That was satisfying. I think we grew and matured as a team a heck of a lot tonight."

Gatland added that the Welsh players plying their trade in the Top 14 rose to the occasion, highlighting the input of Jamie Roberts, Luke Charteris and Leigh Halfpenny while also turning his attention to Ireland's visit in two weeks time.

"I think the advantage was that our French-based players were able to give an insight into a number of the French players, having been team-mates or played against certain players," he added.

"I think for the Welsh players based over here in France it was probably as much them wanting to prove their worth and value and the reason why they are over here. In terms of that self-motivation, it was wanting to perform.

"I thought some of Jamie Roberts' carrying was excellent, the goalkicking of Leigh Halfpenny was potentially the difference, and Luke Charteris was outstanding defensively in lineouts and rucks.

"I thought there was an edge about those players, and they did a good job for us. It is a massive game for us at home against Ireland in a couple of weeks. Ireland are clinical at what they do – they don't make a lot of mistakes."

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