Sam Warburton will lead the Lions as he has with Wales
Sam Warburton admits he is honoured to be named British & Irish Lions captain and insists he will lead the famous tourists in the same manner as Wales.
The flanker, who led Wales to the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-finals and 2012 Grand Slam, was officially unveiled a tour captain by Warren Gatland this morning.
Warburton becomes the first Welshman to be named squad captain since Phil Bennett ahead of the 1977 tour of New Zealand.
And he was thrilled with the decision and he has vowed to continue to lead by the example he has set in Wales.
"I'm delighted to get the nod. It's by far the biggest accolade any British or Irish player could achieve - it's the ultimate," said Warburton.
"Experienced players on the tour are going to be really important and I'll have to rely on them as it will be a massive learning curve for me.
"With a good Welsh contingent, there will be guys there who I know I can rely on already and it will be a case of building relationships with players I don't know or haven't met yet.
"I'll approach it exactly the same as I do for Wales, really, so the Welsh boys will probably be used to it. I'm quite a quiet, reserved guy and I think people know that. I think I'm very professional on and off the pitch and I'll try and set that standard.
"You've got to train hard and train smart. You've got to make sure that you're not cutting any corners and I think that's the sort of impression players like to see.
"Playing well is the main thing - players will respect their captain if he's playing well and that's got to be the priority."
Warburton was asked to captain the side by Gatland nine days ago and the Cardiff Blues ace admits it has been an agonising wait.
"I've had to tell hardly anybody and that's been very difficult," said Warburton.
"I told my fiancé and my parents but that was it. You obviously go to training and other players read the papers more than I do and they've been asking me if it's true or not and been trying to catch me out. It's been the hardest thing, lying to my friends for over a week!
"The boys at the Blues knew I was more than likely to go London on Monday night if I was going to be the captain so they were asking me if I wanted to go out for food or if I could cover them for a charity night or things like that!
"I had to be quite sharp and think of an excuse on the spot. They were trying to catch me out and put two and two together but I wouldn't let anything slip
"It still hasn't really sunk in yet and it might not until the full squad assemble. People have spoken about me and the captaincy over the last 12 months or so and I've always batted the question off but now it's a reality."
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
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