Sport

Sam Warburton set for four month layoff

Sam Warburton set for four month layoff”

The Wales flanker has received a huge setback as it has been confirmed that he will have to undergo neck surgery.

Warburton has played no part in Cardiff's opening games of the Pro14 season, the Blues suffering defeats to Edinburgh and Leinster.

Having skippered the British and Irish Lions to a remarkable series draw with New Zealand over the summer, the return to normal life has been far from smooth for Sam Warburton. "It is likely that Sam will miss a period of up to four months".

It means Warburton willmiss the first half of the Guinness Pro14 campaign, the Challenge Cup pool stages and Wales' November worldwide fixtures against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Warburton has been capped 74 times by Wales and has led the Lions on their lasty two tours, including their victorious trip to Australia in 2013. Wales face Australia in Cardiff on 11 November, before home internationals Georgia and New Zealand precede their final Test of 2017, against South Africa on 2 December.

Taulupe Faletau and Justin Tipuric are set to feature in the back-row for Wales and now there will be a real battle as to who will complete the trio.

Wales launch their autumn series against the Wallabies in Cardiff on November 11, before hosting Georgia, then the All Blacks and finally South Africa on December 2. The current recovery timescale, though, indicates that Warburton will be available for Wales' RBS 6 Nations campaign this season, which they kick off against Scotland on February 3.



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