Sam Warburton hailed on social media after announcing retirement from rugby
The 2013 and 2017 British and Irish Lions captain won 74 caps for Wales.
Former British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has announced his retirement from all forms of professional rugby at the age of 29.
Warburton, who won 74 caps for Wales and captained the Lions during tours of Australia and New Zealand in 2013 and 2017 respectively, has not played since the 1-1 drawn series against the All Blacks last summer after undergoing neck and knee surgery.
The announcement was made jointly by the Welsh Rugby Union and Warburton’s regional team Cardiff Blues.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at how social media reacted to Warburton’s decision.
Congrats on a stellar career @samwarburton_ - we've had some memorable Test battles against you in recent years. You can be proud of your achievements, best wishes on your retirement. A sad day as @cardiff_blues @WelshRugbyUnion and @lionsofficial greet a giant of the game. pic.twitter.com/mFV3104JwP— Springboks (@Springboks) July 18, 2018
Saddened to hear of @samwarburton_ ‘s retirement. Sam was an outstanding player, inspirational @WelshRugbyUnion & @lionsofficial captain, a super ambassador for the sport & above all a fantastic person. He will be successful in whatever he chooses to do next.— Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) July 18, 2018
Fantastic career mate, great player, captain and nice guy! Best of luck 💪🏻 @samwarburton_— Mike Phillips (@mikephillips009) July 18, 2018
Congratulations @samwarburton_ on a fantastic career. You will not find a better ambassador for our great game on and off the pitch. Good luck for the next chapter.— Scott Quinnell (@ScottQuinnell) July 18, 2018
Sad to hear @samwarburton_ is moving onto the next chapter, truly honoured to have played alongside you! A great man off the field, could never do enough for you as a team mate or friend & on the pitch leader,test match animal & LEGEND #EnjoyTheNextChapterSkipper— scott baldwin (@scottbaldwin2) July 18, 2018
One of the modern greats of rugby. But more importantly a genuine great man. One of Wales greatest Ambassadors on and off the field. Best wishes for the future. Pob lwc @samwarburton_ @WelshRugbyUnion https://t.co/ylfqps747d— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) July 18, 2018
Unbelievable player, incredible career #respect 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻— Italrugby (@Federugby) July 18, 2018
By far and away the best Welsh captain I've seen in my lifetime, one of the best ever. Same goes for the British and Irish Lions.— Liam Corcoran (@LiamCorcoran28) July 18, 2018
A legend of the game, diolch yn fawr @samwarburton_.
Amazing career @samwarburton_ !! What a player .. honour to have played against you and with you a very few times 👍👍🙏👊🏽— Sam Davies (@samdavey1993) July 18, 2018
What a player🔥 good luck @samwarburton_— Lloyd Evans (@lloydevs7) July 18, 2018