Sam Warburton: England will cope without duo at Rugby World Cup

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Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton is anticipating a busy summer ahead of the World Cup in September and October.

Wales captain Sam Warburton says World Cup group rivals England will not be affected by their troubled build-up.

England have dropped centre Manu Tuilagi and hooker Dylan Hartley over disciplinary issues, while fly-half Danny Cipriani is facing a police investigation into a car crash.

But Warburton says England have proved before that they are strong enough to weather such disruptions.

"It didn't affect them in the Six Nations," Warburton said.

"They had a lot of players out but they come away from home and beat us, they deserve a massive amount of credit for that.

"I've met Dylan Hartley, he's a great lad and he will be a big loss for them because he's a very good captain and leader.

"The same with Manu as I was hugely impressed when I played with him for the Lions.

"But I think England have got great strength in depth and they proved that against us in Cardiff earlier this year - they will be okay."

Wales face England in Pool A at Twickenham on 26 September, in a difficult group which also includes Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.

Manu Tuilagi has played 25 Tests for England and Dylan Hartley has made 66 appearances
Manu Tuilagi has played 25 Tests for England and Dylan Hartley has made 66 appearances

Coach Warren Gatland has arranged gruelling pre-World Cup camps in Switzerland, Qatar and Poland as Wales aim to better their fourth place at the 2011 tournament in New Zealand.

Toulon's Paul Stridgeon has been brought on board as the Welsh Rugby Union's new head of physical performance.

The former British and Irish Lions fitness coach will combine his new role with his existing strength and conditioning position at the European champions.

Cardiff Blues flanker Warburton accepts the next six weeks will be a challenging time for every player but insists it is a period that he actually enjoys.

"These camps are brutal but... it's just training and it's immensely tough, and I actually love it," said the 26-year-old open-side.

"I love that feeling of once you have been blasted and you finish you know the benefits you'll get from it will be huge.

"Even when I'm on holiday I go running on the beach or do something and tell my wife I'm just going to run up and down gently.

"But in the end she will come over and see me killing myself doing sprints. I just can't help it. If I am training I have just got to do it full-on."

Wales will return from Qatar for home and away World Cup warm-up games against Ireland and a Millennium Stadium visit from Italy, before beginning their campaign against Uruguay on 20 September in Cardiff.

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