Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Will Welsh skipper be ready for the All Blacks?

Sam Warburton. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Sam Warburton. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Wales captain Sam Warburton will go into the All Black series on a meagre rugby diet.

He has not played for a month after damaging his shoulder and will miss Wales tour warmup against England this weekend at Twickenham.

"I think this weekend will be too early for Sam," forwards coach Robin McBryde said.

"He is getting much stronger, feeling much better about himself and that is evident in the way he is carrying himself and contributing to the meetings."

Warburton had completed a range of fitness work but was not ready for full contact although lock Alun Wyn-Jones is tipped to return after being out of rugby for almost three months because of a heel problem.

"Alun Wyn has made great strides. More time is going to benefit anybody, obviously, but at some stage you are going to have to dip your toe in the water and see how you react to games," McBryde said.

"He has progressed. He has followed the medical advice, and there is no better professional than Alun Wyn Jones, and if you couple that professional attitude with the medical team that we have got. They have worked wonders with players in the past, and it just goes to show when you follow protocols, anything is possible."

Wales play three tests against the All Blacks starting at Eden Park on June 11 and Warburton's latest injury will carry some alarm as he is the only specialist openside flanker in the touring squad. The medical staff are probably being overly-cautious because of that and Warburton's history of shoulder problems.

This weekend's match was put in the diary to give players invaluable match practice while some of their touring colleague were involved in domestic finals.

Wales were determined to arrive in match-ready mode for their June test series against the World Cup champions.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 25 Apr 2017 13:45:31 Processing Time: 519ms