Sam Warburton: British & Irish Lions captain fit 'to crack on'

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In Australia in 2013 captain Sam Warburton was asked "who the Lions were"

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has declared himself fully fit for the tour of New Zealand after recovering from a knee injury.

The 28-year-old Wales flanker has not played since getting injured against Ulster in the Pro12 on 7 April.

Warburton said he had "trained fully" on Monday, adding: "That's all the boxes ticked, and now I can crack on."

Head coach Warren Gatland has said he expects to lose between six and 10 players to injury on the tour.

The tourists have already lost England number eight Billy Vunipola because of a shoulder injury, while compatriot Ben Youngs withdrew after his brother Tom's wife learned she is terminally ill.

Wales hooker Ken Owens will miss Scarlets' Pro12 final against Munster on Saturday because of an ankle injury.

Ireland prop Jack McGrath (arm) is also a concern, as are Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb (groin) and Ireland back row Sean O'Brien (calf).

Gatland: 'Injured guys making good progress'

Joe Marler and Warren Gatland
Lions and England prop Joe Marler listens as Warren Gatland makes a point during training

Speaking on Monday, Gatland seemed confident the injured players will be fit for the tour.

"I think we are pretty good," he said. "The guys are making good progress.

"There could be a couple more next weekend as well and, given the history of the Lions, we've planned to lose anywhere between six and 10 players.

"That's just the attrition of past tours."

England back rower James Haskell has replaced Vunipola, and Warburton said: "Billy was one of the guys I was really looking forward to playing with who I hadn't played alongside before.

"He has been a massive player for Saracens. It is a big loss for us, but James coming in - I think only Rory Best and Alun Wyn Jones have got more caps than him in the squad - means we are very lucky."

Full Lions tour schedule

June 3 - Provincial Union Team, Whangarei
June 7 - Blues, Auckland
June 10 - Crusaders, Christchurch
June 13 - Highlanders, Dunedin
June 17 - Maori All Blacks, Rotorua
June 20 - Chiefs, Hamilton
June 24 - All Blacks, Auckland
June 27 - Hurricanes, Wellington
July 1 - All Blacks, Wellington
July 8 - All Blacks, Auckland

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