Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Sam Warburton highs and lows as Wales captain

Alun Wyn Jones has taken over as Wales captain from Sam Warburton ahead of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Warburton steps aside after a record 49 Tests at the helm for his country.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the highs and lows during his leadership reign.


* Warburton, who was appointed Wales captain only a few months earlier, led Wales to the 2011 World Cup semi-finals with a stirring 22-10 victory over Ireland in Wellington, Tries by Shane Williams, Mike Phillips and Jonathan Davies underpinned an outstanding Wales win as they reached the last-four on rugby's global stage for the first time since 1987.

* Warburton led Wales to a 2014 victory over South Africa in Cardiff, ending a run of 16 successive defeats against the Springboks. Wales won 12-6, with Warburton subsequently describing it as being among the best achievements of his career.

* Warburton broke Ryan Jones' record for most appearances as Wales captain when he led his country for a 34th time against 2015 Six Nations opponents Ireland in Cardiff. Warburton was sin-binned during the first-half, but he ultimately celebrated his career landmark in style as Wales triumphed 23-16.


* Wales' 2011 World Cup adventure ended in agonising fashion against semi-final opponents France in Auckland. Warburton was controversially sent off by Irish referee Alain Rolland for a dangerous tackle on Les Bleus' Vincent Clerc, and then looked on for more than an hour's action as 14-man Wales were edged out 9-8.

* Wales were just 30 seconds away from ending a long run of defeats against Australia when Wallabies full-back Kurtley Beale scored a dramatic try to edge his team home 14-12. The defeat, in December 2012, knocked Wales outside the world's top eight and consigned them to a punishing pool assignment for the 2015 World Cup, being drawn in the same group as Australia and England.

* Wales' hopes of chasing a third successive Six Nations title in 2014 were effectively ended by a 26-3 defeat against Ireland in Dublin. It was Wales' heaviest loss to the Irish for eight years, with Warburton and company proving powerless to prevent a rampant home pack from dominating the contest throughout, led by magnificent Munster flanker Peter O'Mahony.

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here


From Belfast Telegraph