Wales and rugby communities react to Sam Warburton's retirement
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 18/07/18 9:29pm
Reaction from around the game as former British & Irish Lions and Wales captain Sam Warburton retires from rugby...
Warren Gatland (Wales head coach)
"His leadership, attitude and demeanour along with his performances have placed Sam up there as one of the best and most respected players in the world.
"He finishes with a record that he should be extremely proud of and should look back on his career with huge pride."
Martyn Phillips (WRU chief executive)
"Sam has left the jersey in a better place, which is the goal I know most, if not all, Welsh players set themselves. The way that Sam has conducted himself as Wales and Lions captain, on and off the pitch, has been exemplary.
"Even the manner in which he has made this extraordinarily tough decision demonstrates the quality of leader he has become.
"Sam has had a remarkable influence on the pitch for Wales, and I suspect will have a remarkable influence off the pitch for many years to come."
Will Greenwood (Sky Sports analyst)
"Stats can tell you about the quality of the man but they often don't tell you about the character of the man.
"One of his most unbelievable strengths was the ability to mix with a third XV pub player or an ex-Lions captain.
"He would always give people time and had genuine spirit when he was in the room with you and was incredible at handling defeat and victory with the same outlook."
Shaun Edwards (Wales defence coach)
"Sam Warburton will be remembered as a gentleman off the pitch and an unbelievable competitor on the pitch.
"But he has realised his body can't take it anymore and I think he has made a good decision as he is going out on his own terms."
Peter Thomas (Cardiff Blues chairman)
"On behalf of myself, the Cardiff Blues board and the entire company, I would like to thank Sam for the enormous contribution he has made both to Cardiff Blues and the game of rugby in general.
"We are all immensely proud of his achievements and are truly fortunate that he has remained a Cardiff Blues player throughout his career.
"His achievements speak for themselves and he is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of the game - more than 100 Cardiff Blues appearances, Wales youngest World Cup and most-capped captain, and our 58th Lion.
"Sam will be sorely missed on the pitch but will always remain part of our family at Cardiff Blues and we hope to see him at Cardiff Arms Park for years to come.
"Not only is he a great player but a great man - a true Cardiffian, a gentleman and a role model to all of us."