Former British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton regrets not savoring the Lions’ second test victory over the All Blacks in 2017 because he was too focused on the series decider. Rugby fans can book South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website’s exclusively discounted prices.
Warburton – who retired prematurely in 2018 due to injury – led the Lions to a drawn series in New Zealand, but he now says he should have made more of the 24-21 second test win in Wellington after rebounding from a 30-15 first test defeat.
“I couldn’t enjoy it at the time,” the 31-year-old said of the Wellington Test, which saw the All Blacks down to 14 men after Sonny Bill Williams’ red card for a dangerous tackle.
“I remember interviewing after the match, and they were saying it was amazing, the first time New Zealand has lost at home for 42 fixtures or something,” Warburton said on a World Rugby podcast interview.
“But I was like: ‘I don’t care. We have to win next week’.”
Warburton said he “couldn’t enjoy that result because it was all on next week”.
On the off chance that I could remember one second, I’d remember that second test in 2017. I didn’t understand how enormous that second was. The wailing breeze and downpour, the group, the red card, the way that we’d lost the principal Test pretty convincingly.
“Nobody gave us a chance. I wish I could relive that. At the time, I didn’t appreciate it because I had my head on the job for next week.”
Warburton also revealed on the World Rugby podcast that he was caught by surprise when the third Test – and the series – ended in a draw. He described how he slugged back an energy drink and ordered physios to massage cramp from his calves as he was expecting 20 minutes of extra-time to be played.
The third test ended in a 15-15 draw, resulting in Warburton and All Blacks captain Kieran Read jointly raising the trophy.
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