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Even Sam Warburton admits he thought his Six Nations days were over.
After making 34 appearances in eight tournaments between 2010 and 2017 – which included two titles and a Grand Slam – even the man himself thought his association with Europe’s elite competition was over.
But in just over three weeks, Warburton returns for the 2020 tournament as a coach after being appointed by Wayne Pivac as a breakdown technical advisor.
A move which caught the man himself by surprise.
“I never thought I would be involved in the national set-up again,” said Warburton.
“I can’t wait. As a player it’s full of pressure, bit of nerves and anxiety.
“As a coach it is just exciting. Having two years out of it I feel more privileged to be back involved.
“I never had aspirations to coach when I was playing but I guess when you are in a particular place and time. things worked for a reason.”
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Warburton’s step into coaching resulted from a conversation with Pivac about what he felt was a neglected area. The result was his appointment to work alongside defence coach Byron Hayward.
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