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Sam Warburton named Wales U19 World Cup captain

20th March 2007

Wales Under 19 head coach Justin Burnell has named 18-year-old Glamorgan Wanderers flanker Sam Warburton as skipper of his squad for the IRB Under 19 World Championships in Belfast next month.

Wales play New Zealand in the opening game of the World Cup - at Ravenhill on 5 April - before facing Samoa and Argentina in their other Pool matches.

Sam will take A level exams in Biology, Chemistry and PE on returning from the tournament in May amd is hoping to begin a degree in Bio-Medical Science in September. He said: "I was surprised but thrilled to hear that I will captain the side.

"As a squad, we can't wait to fly out to Belfast now to take on New Zealand in the first game. It will be a huge challenge but one we are ready for. We have the skills and preparation and, as long as we can keep our concentration for 80 minutes, we believe we can compete with any side on the day.

"Regarding my studies, I have spoken to my teachers and I'm happy I'll be ready for my exams when they come around.

"I'll only be missing one week of school and I'm catching up on that week already. Other than that, the tournament takes place during the Easter holidays so I'll be taking my books to get on with my revision in my spare time."

Burnell said: "Sam has shown his capabilities in our recent matches and in training. He leads by example and has an incredible work rate.

"Our Pool matches - against New Zealand in the first game followed by Samoa and Argentina - will all be very tough and physical but this group of players is growing all the time and will certainly put everything they've got into the forthcoming tournament."

IRB Under 19 World Championships, Belfast, April 5 - 21
Pool Games:
Wales v New Zealand - April 5 - Ravenhill - 5.30pm
Wales v Samoa - April 9 - Shaw's Bridge - 5.30pm
Wales v Argentina - April 13 - Shaw's Bridge - 7.30pm

Wales Under 19 Official RWC Squad - Belfast 2007
Full backs: Daniel EVANS (Scarlets), Luke HATHAWAY (Ospreys).
Wings: Jimmy NORRIS (Dragons), Leigh HALFPENNY (Ospreys), James EGAN (Blues).
Centres: Luke FORD (Blues), Tom WILLIAMS (Ospreys), Rhys WILLIAMS (Scarlets).
Scrum Halves: Rhys WEBB (Ospreys), Gareth WILLIAMS (Blues).
Outside Halves: Gareth OWEN (Ospreys), David LANGDON (Dragons).
Props: Ryan BEVINGTON (Ospreys), Phillip PRICE (Ospreys), Lloyd ELLIOTT (Ospreys), Patrick PALMER (Blues).
Hookers: Ben ROBERTS (Dragons), Huw DOWDEN (Blues).
Second Row: Haydn PUGH (Scarlets), Nathan WHITE (Ospreys), Josh TURNBULL (Scarlets).
Back Row: Nicholas CUDD (Scarlets), Sam WARBURTON (Blues, captain), Jevon GROVES (Blues), Lloyd PHILLIPS (Scarlets), Jonothan GRIFFITHS (Ospreys).