Sam Warburton Cannot “Get His Head Around” Richie McCaw’s Record

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Wales captain Sam Warburton cannot “get his head around” trying to match New Zealand’s World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw’s record 148 caps.

Warburton, 27, has won 60 Wales and two British and Irish Lions caps.

He is set to return from Wales’ World Cup camping for Cardiff Blues against Glasgow in the Pro12 on Saturday.

“The game now is way too hostile – that’s such a freakish thing to achieve [148 caps], which is amazing on his part,” said Warburton.

“That is incredible, managing to play 148 Tests at open-side flanker, especially in New Zealand where they have [number] sevens on a conveyer belt.

“He hasn’t said it officially, but I’d be surprised if he carries on.”

If Warburton is wrong, he could face McCaw on Wales’ three-Test tour to New Zealand in June 2016.

“I don’t think I could compare myself with him. He’s an absolute legend of the game,” said Warburton.

“I can’t even get my head around 148 international caps, especially at number seven.

“But I could pretty safely say I’m not going to get to that. Never.

“There’s too many good sevens in Wales.”

Warburton expects stiff competition at the Blues from Josh Navidi and Ellis Jenkins, while Ospreys’ Justin Tipuric and James Davies of Scarlets are rivals for the Wales number seven jersey.

But having led Wales into the 2011 and 2015 World Cup and played his part in 2012 and 2013 Six Nations successes, Warburton is unlikely to find himself out of favour with national coach Warren Gatland.

And when Wales’ 2016 Six Nations campaign begins against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday, 7 February, Warburton says he and his team-mates will not hide their ambitions

Describing how Wales approached the 2015 tournament, he said: “Rather than sit down and have one hour of goal-setting, it was ‘what do we want to do’.

“And everyone just sort of said ‘let’s win it’ and that was pretty much the meeting done.

“So that’s where we’re at, really.

“Anything other than first place is a disappointment, which is a great place to be.

“I love setting the bar really high and that will be the target again this year, I would imagine.”

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