Sam Warburton: Blues flanker has 'no doubt' of future at region
Wales captain Sam Warburton says there is "no doubt at all" that he will play for the Cardiff Blues next season.
Warburton is the only player to have signed a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union, while the Welsh regions are unwilling to field centrally contracted players.
But the 25-year-old flanker has "no doubt at all" that he will be playing for the Blues next season.
"I'll be a Blues boy next year for sure," said Warburton.
"The only reason I signed my central contract was because it was the best way for me to stay at home and play for the Blues.
"I can honestly say that I haven't got nervous since I signed the deal at all, because in my head I've just been preparing to play for the Blues as normal.
"I've been back pre-season training for the last two weeks and I can't see it working out any other way."
There are no other centrally contracted players in Wales, as all other players are contracted to the regions.
Warburton decided to sign a deal with the WRU after failing to agree a new contract with the Blues, though the stance of the Welsh regions has been that they are unwilling to field centrally contracted players.
Part of the regions' funding comes from a 'participation agreement', where the WRU partly funds the regions and players are released for international duties - with other funding coming from competitions.
The two parties are yet to reach a new agreement which would cover the next five years, with the current deal ending on 30 June.
Previously Warburton said he would "only" sign a contract with the WRU if he could play for the Blues.
And the flanker has not changed his opinion, stating that there is "literally no change" between his pre-season preparations this year and last.
"I'm being treated now for my shoulder by my brother Ben who's a Blues physio, I've been at the training ground for the last two weeks during pre-season.
"I've got my new kit with all my Blues badges on.
"So as far as I'm concerned I'm prepared to play for the Blues... and that's the only club I want to be with at the moment."
Warburton is still recovering from surgery after dislocating a shoulder in the 51-3 win over Scotland, but says he expects to be fully fit in the next three weeks.