Sam Warburton expects tough Glasgow Warriors test

Sam Warburton has had a six-month absence from Cardiff side. Picture: Getty Images

Sam Warburton has had a six-month absence from Cardiff side. Picture: Getty Images

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Glasgow Warriors are the most organised team in the Guinness Pro12 and are very hard to break down, according to Sam Warburton.

The Wales captain has been back training with his Cardiff Blues team-mates this week after being given a fortnight off following the World Cup.

Warburton is set to play his first league match of the season tomorrow when the Blues welcome the Warriors to the Arms Park – and he is hoping his presence can kickstart Cardiff’s league campaign, which has thus far been disappointing.

Last week the Blues slumped to a 26-15 loss at Zebre and they have won only one of their first six matches.

However, Warburton and other World Cup players such as Gethin Jenkins and Alex Cuthbert are set to return to bolster the starting XV against Gregor Townsend’s side.

“It’s a tough first home fixture to come back to, that’s for sure,” the flanker said.

“The last few times I have played Glasgow, compared to six or seven years ago when I first came through into the first team, they are a totally different side.

“They are really well organised and that is what struck me most playing against them last year. That makes them really hard to score tries against while they are also really good at taking their chances when they come along.

“They have some great individual players in their squad and many of them have been at the World Cup so they will be rested
and raring to go just like me.

“We can’t wait for the challenge and, on a personal level, they have a great back-row with the likes of Chris Fusaro and Josh Strauss in there and these are guys who I have been impressed with.

“It will be a tough afternoon for us, but that’s what we need. In my mind it’s great to come back to a match against one of the best teams in the Pro12 – the bigger the better for me.

“Hopefully it will bring the best out of the boys.”

Warburton, 27, called on his less experienced team-mates not to panic despite sitting 10th in the league, some nine points behind the Warriors and 11 off a play-off spot.

The man who played for the British and Irish Lions in 2013 said: “It’s really important we don’t panic about the Zebre result. We have trained well this week, worked hard on our defensive structures and our attack has been on the money.

“Last weekend was a result we want to put behind us and make sure it doesn’t happen again. The coaches that we have got have put the systems in place – and now we have got to execute them out there on the pitch.

“I feel really good and I owe the Blues a big performance now.

“When you have been away for as long as I have – I haven’t played for six months for the team – you just want to get back in a Cardiff Blues shirt.”

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