Sam Warburton ruled out until October

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British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton faces a race against time to be fit for Wales’ autumn Test campaign after being ruled out for 12 to 16 weeks with a hamstring tear.

The Cardiff Blues openside flanker suffered the injury during the latter stages of the Lions’ second Test defeat to Australia in Melbourne, and missed the series-clinching win in Sydney.

The Blues have confirmed he will not play until at least October. Warburton, 24, will miss the opening run of RaboDirect Pro12 fixtures, starting with a trip to Glasgow, and is unlikely to be involved in their opening two Heineken Cup pool fixtures.

The openside’s absence is a major blow for the region as they look to rebuild after struggling last season although a return in 12 weeks would give the back-rower a chance of being available for Wales’ November engagements against South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia.

However, a four-month absence would effectively rule him out of head coach Warren Gatland’s plans.

Meanwhile, Jamie Roberts has graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in medicine, capping a remarkable few months for the British and Irish Lions centre.

Roberts helped Wales retain the Six Nations title in March and then scored a try in the deciding match as the Lions completed an historic Test series victory over Australia

The 26-year-old has spent the last eight years juggling medical studies with rugby and sat two exams in the week before the Six Nations title decider against England. He extended the final two years of his degree to four years to make the most of his rugby career, which often meant training in the morning and working in a hospital in the afternoon.

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