Warburton hopeful of playing first Test

Getty Images

    05 Jun 2016     Getty Images

Warburton said he had always been aware that his shoulder injury could mean he would be miss the first Test but he was feeling good.


He said his fitness was not so much an issue because he had been able to keep running and had had the legs run off him over the last five weeks.

"That is the big plus of having a shoulder injury. If I had an operation it would have been pretty bad, but I have been able to do lineouts, pass and all the normal pattern stuff we do. I can still stay fit and that is the biggest part," he said.

While not playing in the warm-up game against England, he said the game was 'massively beneficial' for the side as he recalled them struggling in their first game when touring Australia in 2012.

"We just weren't there. I remember Shaun Edwards said before we got there if you play these teams down south, it's different from when you play at home. We found that out the hard way," he said.

The tour of New Zealand was an amazing opportunity for the players and it required a positive mindset from the players, and that was half the battle in professional sport.

"They have been the world's best team for a long time now and they will be the best team we have played against probably in the last three or four years.

"The feeling of victory then is what motivates you because it would make it that much greater an achievement. So it's really motivating to go out there and try to get a win against the best side in the world," he said.

But if the Wales did manage a win, Warburton wouldn't be getting carried away about it, he said.

It showed how big the gap was if you made a big deal out of beating the All Blacks once.

"Once is not good enough. We want to be regularly competitive with these teams. Whether people think that's realistic or not, that's up to them to decide. But that's the mindset we've got to have," he said.

So far as the All Blacks' loss of experience was concerned, Warburton said that would be best measured when reaching the last 10 minutes of a game with the All Blacks in a sticky spot.

"Then you will see how they react. Until you are in that situation, you do not know how anyone will react. They still have the talent to pull them out of any sticky spot."