Warburton excited for Cardiff return

Date published: November 4 2016

Wales captain Sam Warburton insists it is vital that he plays for Cardiff Blues before returning to the national squad.%u200B

Warburton has been out of action for Cardiff Blues since suffering a fractured cheekbone in the 13th minute of the 16-13 defeat to Leinster on October 1.

The Wales captain has been named in the starting line-up for Cardiff Blues' trip to Treviso on Friday, and believes an appearance for his region is an important step towards his return to full form and fitness.

"I'm really pleased that Wales were understanding because we had a conversation and I said I thought it was really important that I got a game in for Cardiff Blues first," Warburton told the official Cardiff Blues website.

"In the past I've gone straight back into the international scene and had four or five weeks off and given it a go but realistically I find it difficult to go straight in and perform at the level I want without a game for the club first."

Despite being named captain for Wales' autumn series, Warburton reiterates that he must earn his place in the line-up for both region and country.

"You have to justify your national selection so this puts pressure on me to go out to Treviso in a massive game for the Blues. We need a performance and a win and I'm looking forward to that challenge.

Warburton continued: "As captain the one thing I don't want is to become complacent. I always want to have those nerves going into selection – you have to earn the right to play, whether for Cardiff Blues or Wales.

"Having this opportunity on Friday is great for me, I've only been involved in four games this season so I really want to prove my form."