Warburton starts on the openside flank for Britain and Ireland's elite in a side that includes seven other Welshmen. Alun Wyn Jones and Adam Jones provide previous Lions experience but the likes of George North, Alex Cuthbert and Warburton himself, all make their first Test starts as the Lions look for a repeat of their famous first Test win in Queensland 12 years ago.
"It's happy days, it's awesome. It's exactly what you want to achieve when you're a young boy," said Warburton after being named captain.
"All the players were very excited with the announcement and the boys who aren't involved have been very supportive. They know there's every chance they could get back into the Test team. It's the first one of three, so there's a long way to go and players have still got every chance of being involved.
"Personally, I'm absolutely delighted. It's where you want to be. Even though they've announced the team, I still feel pretty relaxed at this stage. I won't feel the nerves until matchday in any game I play so I'm just enjoying it at the moment."
Although he was named tour captain at the end of April, Warburton faced plenty of speculation surrounding his Test place after a knee injury prevented him from featuring in the first two games of the 125th anniversary adventure.
The 24-year-old sat out the wins over the Barbarians and the Western Force before making his Lions bow when the Lions got the better of the Reds the last time they were in Brisbane.
But Warburton insists he never paid any attention to the suggestion that he may be overlooked for the No. 7 shirt in favour of Justin Tipuric or Sean O'Brien, choosing instead to focus solely on his day-to-day role with the squad.
"I can be perfectly honest and say I've not looked at any of the press or anything outside of the Lions tour," added Warburton.
"I think everybody's been the same. We've come into camp and the focus has been very much on ourselves and we've been concentrating on what we've got to do.
"I've just tried to do what I'm in control of and everything else is out of my hands. I've tried my best in the last two games I've played and I'm delighted I got the nod."