Planet Rugby

Warburton wants to stay with Cardiff

07th October 2013 08:22


SKY_MOBILE Sam Warburton - Cardiff Pro12

Hopeful of staying: Sam Warburton

Wales and Lions skipper Sam Warburton has given Welsh rugby a boost by declaring he wants to continue playing for Cardiff Blues.

Warburton's services is wanted by several French clubs, including Clermont Auvergne, Racing Metro and Toulon. But he insists that he would prefer to stay with Cardiff and not join the recent Welsh exodus across to the Top 14.

He is now hoping his club and the Welsh Rugby Union will be able to put together a deal which will enable him to stay in Wales.

Cardiff are seeking cash aid from the WRU to help them retain the services of both Warburton and full-back Leigh Halfpenny.

The Blues wants the WRU to release their portion of the £1m that was pledged to the regions as a way to stop the player drain to France and England.

The situation is complicated by the uncertainty over the Heineken Cup, which means Cardiff don't know what their budget will be for the 2014/15 season.

But Warburton, who helped Cardiff to beat Edinburgh in their PRO12 clash at the Arms Park on Sunday, is hopeful something can be resolved to enable him to remain with his region.

"Staying is my preferred choice," he told Walesonline

"I just hope they can sort it out between the regions and the WRU. I haven't had an offer in writing yet.

"I can understand that the regions do not know what situation they will be in next year because they don't know whether they are playing in Europe or whether this money is coming from the WRU.

"As a player, it is quite an unusual position to be in. But I always think things will work out for the best.

"You just have to get on with it. You have to accept that when you come into sport, it is an unstable job.

"You very rarely get a contract of any more than three years. It doesn't stress me out."

Warburton is also relaxed regarding the future of European cup rugby, despite the Premiership and Top 14 clubs quitting the Heineken Cup after this season to establish their own tournament.

As with his contract, he is optimistic that a solution will be found.

"I find it hard to think there will be a European competition next season that doesn't incorporate teams from all the countries," Warburton added.

"If it's only two nations, I can't see it being too prestigious. That's why I am so relaxed about it.

"I feel confident that there will be a European competition next year that I can play in."

He does, however, understand some of the Anglo-French concerns over the current set-up.

"I can sympathise with the English and French clubs about the qualification process," explained Warburton.

"That is an obvious one. It's not fair. If they did change the qualification, it would make the PRO12 a much better league.

"If you look at the likes of Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and now Glasgow - if all these teams put out their strongest sides, it's a really good league."

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