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Wales captain Warburton set to be fit for Six Nations decider

| 13.03.2012

Wales are massive 2/5 favourites to defeat France and claim the Grand Slam title next weekend – and they have even more reason to be confident thanks to the return to fitness of captain Sam Warburton.

The Cardiff Blues man has continued his fine World Cup form into the Six Nations and was excellent in the first three games of the tournament before picking up a knee injury that meant he missed Wales’ straightforward win against Italy on Saturday.

However, the news from the Wales camp is encouraging and it looks as though he will be fit to lead his men out against France in Cardiff next Saturday.

Speaking to the BBC, Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde said: “The news is very heartening with regards to Sam.

“He’s been running, albeit in straight lines, this week, so a little bit of side-stepping and off-line stuff at the start of next week and hopefully he’ll react positively.

“He’ll add to the depth that we’ve got to choose from next week.”

Even if the prognosis is wrong and Warburton does miss the game, Wales can look to Ospreys open-side Justin Tipuric to once again deputise.

Tipuric was brilliant against a well-organised Italian pack and was unlucky not to claim the Man of the Match award for his industrious display, littered with moments of genuine quality.

Regardless of who makes the starting XV though, Wales can be confident of seeing off a France side who were incredibly sloppy at times in their 24-22 defeat against England on Sunday.

Any such sloppiness against Wales will be ruthlessly exploited and, with the French having a far tougher game than Warren Gatland’s men and a day less to recover, the Welsh can be confident of claiming their third Grand Slam in eight years.



Richard Anderson