Six Nations 2017: Wales not thinking of Lions - Sam Warburton

Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton has played in two Tests for the British and Irish Lions
Six Nations: France v Wales
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Saturday, 18 March Kick-off: 14:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Sam Warburton says Wales' players will not be thinking about British and Irish Lions selection against France.

This Saturday's Six Nations fixture in Paris is Wales' last before coach Warren Gatland names his Lions squad for the summer tour of New Zealand.

Warburton, Lions captain in 2013, says a win against France is the team's only motivation at Stade de France.

"I've said it before, but not one player has mentioned the Lions to each other," said the flanker.

"I actually find it quite funny because the hype for the Lions starts in August/September and everyone is picking their hypothetical Lions XVs.

"Obviously, guys want to go on that tour - everybody in our team-room would love to go on the Lions tour - but it's out of our hands completely.

"All you can do is play as well as you can - and if you get selected you get selected.

"If not, there is still a fantastic tour in the summer with Wales with a couple of Tests. So plenty left to play for."

Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton captained the Lions in 2013

Gatland announced his squad on 19 April with England's Six Nations-winning side expected to make up the bulk of the party.

Warburton's immediate aim will be to target a sixth successive victory for Wales against France, and keep alive the possibility of finishing as runners-up.

A win in France would also secure a top-four world ranking - if England also beat Ireland - before May's 2019 World Cup pool draw.

"Before the Ireland game (Wales won 22-9) we were staring down the barrel of finishing fifth in the Six Nations, which I would have been gutted about given all the hard work that's gone in from the players and management," Warburton added.

"We have been in the top three over the past four or five years consistently now, and we don't want to slip out of that. That is the motivation for the players.

"It wouldn't be great - as our goal is to win - but if we come second that is not too bad."

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