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Warburton set to start Wales' final RBS Six Nations clash

15th March 2017

Sam Warburton has retained his place on Wales' blindside for the final RBS Six Nations clash against France on Saturday, after impressing with his performances in this year's championship. (KO 3.45pm local; BBC/S4C)

Wales head coach Rob Howley has named an unchanged side for the trip to Stade de France, with Warburton continuing his partnership with Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty in the back row. 

Warburton has started every game of this year's championship, and is set to win his 74th cap in Wales colours.

The back row has been pleased with his personal performances over the campaign, and is happy with his current role in the side.

“It’s impossible to know how I would have played if I was captain, but personally looking at my last four performances, I am really pleased with they way it has gone.

“That would be a big contributing factor. I am happy with where I am personally, and my little role in the team."

Warburton played a key role in defence as Wales' defeated Ireland at Principality Stadium last week, and hopes to carry momentum from the 22-9 victory into the match at Paris.

“It is very difficult not to concede a try these days in international rugby.

“I didn’t realise until we walked off the pitch that it was a try-less performance defensively. Somebody said we’d won three nil on tries and I was really shocked, because when you’re in the game and in the moment you know the scoreboard.

“So in hindsight I was really proud of our performance. It was a huge defensive effort and it took a lot out of the players emotionally because the two weeks building up to that gem we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, with the debrief of the Scotland game and we just didn’t want to lose three games in a row. As players that just wouldn’t have been acceptable for us.

“It’s also a nice feeling when you know everyone else had a good weekend, enjoying the success of the Welsh team. It’s nice to put a smile on people’s faces.

“So we knew we owed a big performance to the supporters as well. But we definitely want to back it up against France.

"Even though it took a lot of energy out of us emotionally we want to get right back up that place away to France in Paris. We’ve had some great wins out there; we won out there in 2013 and that turned that championship around. So the boys have good experiences out there."

Wales face France on Saturday at Stade de France (KO 3.45pm local) and is shown live on BBC and S4C. Cardiff Blues have a limited amount of tickets available for the match. Please contact 029 20 30 20 30 (open 9am-5pm)

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon); George North (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (CAPTAIN), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby)

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Bath), Taulupe Faletau (Bath), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins)