Gatland likens Warburton to McCaw

Date published: February 25 2015

Wales head coach Warren Gatland believes his young captain Sam Warburton is following a similar path to New Zealand legend Richie McCaw.

Warburton will equal Ryan Jones' record of captaining Wales on 33 occasions this weekend in Paris, with the chance to break that landmark on the horizon against Ireland in Cardiff two weeks later.

Talking of his progerss, Gatland believes Warburton will go to do great things for Wales.

"Sam has grown into the role," said Gatland.

"When you are a young man and you are given that sort of responsibility, particularly in Wales – this is the ultimate fish-bowl of world rugby – I think he has matured and grown into the role.

"I liken him a little bit to someone like Richie McCaw.

"He (McCaw) was given the captaincy of the All Blacks at a young age, and he got better and better as he got more comfortable with the role. I think Sam is doing that. I think he will go on and hopefully do a lot more than equal the record."

Gatland also discussed his own future on Tuesday following the announcement that WRU chief executive Roger Lewis would step down following the Rugby World Cup.

The former Ireland and Wasps coach hinted that his future in the role not be as certain with a new man at the helm of Welsh rugby.

"Often those decisions aren't in your hands, are they?" he added. "I have signed until 2019 and I have made my commitment to Welsh rugby for that. You hope that can continue.

"Professional sport is all about performance, it is all about results, and sometimes it is about other people making decisions for you."