The Lions are mixing together well says skipper Sam Warburton

Last Updated: 01/06/13 12:49pm

Sam Warburton says he is thoroughly enjoying life as British and Irish Lions skipper and that the team are all getting on extremely well.

And the Welsh back-row forward says the injury that will cause him to miss Saturday's tour opener against the Barbarians is not a matter of concern.

Speaking on the Rugby Club's Lions preview show, Warburton said: "It's just a knock on the knee, so it's no dramas. I emailed my parents, my fiancée and my brother, to make sure they didn't panic!

"Looking at the bigger picture really, the tour is nine, 10 games. My thought process was, there's no point risking anything now, an extra couple of days and then you're ready to go."

Loads of guys chipping in

Asked if leading the Lions felt different to captaining Wales, he added: "I don't find it too dissimilar, I find it OK.

"Loads of the guys are chipping in anyway, it's not like I'm doing it all on my own. It's been great fun and I've really enjoyed it.

"People were saying beforehand it's going to be a massive change, but I've found it pretty straightforward."

Players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are thrown together in the Lions squad but Warburton says they are enjoying each other's company.

"It's going really well to be fair," he said. "It's great to get to know a few of the guys. You don't get much time to socialise after matches.

"It's a pretty similar sort of formula with Wales, where four regions are coming together and there can be players in the squad you haven't met before.

Great opportunity

"This is pretty similar, just obviously on a much bigger scale. It's great to get to know players, especially in the back row.

"Tom Croft, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien. They are guys I've played against a lot and had some great individual battles against.

"I'm really looking forward to getting the opportunity to play with those guys. Opportunities like this are fantastic, they don't come around very often. It's a great experience."

Wales denied England a Grand Slam earlier this year but Warburton says there is no bad blood whatsoever and is surprised by how well the bonding process is going.

"It feels almost weird how normal it is to be together," he said. "I already feel very comfortable in the boy's company and I know everyone feels the same. There's a lot of banter flying about.

"We're all rugby players and, on a certain level, we all connect."

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