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Pressure on Warburton will be greater than ever

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    10 May 2017     Getty Images

Shane Williams, a wing for Wales and a Lion in New Zealand in 2005, and who scored five tries in the side's 109-6 win over Manawatu, told The Independent, "Trust me, captaining Wales is definitely pressurised and living in Wales as well multiplies it by two for a captain, but there's still more pressure on him for this Lions tour."

Warburton would feel the pressure from the moment the side touched down in New Zealand and it would come from all quarters, from porters at the airport to receptionists at hotels.

"New Zealanders don't lack confidence and I think he definitely will feel the increased pressure straight away and I think he feels it already," he said.

"But he's got the experience and he knows how to win and I think for that reason he is the right man for the job."

Williams believes Warburton is back to his best touch after having a season without the captaincy of Wales in the Six Nations this year. He had switched to the blindside and had been one of the best players in the competition.

"Whether he lost it, or gave it up, I think losing the Welsh captaincy was the right thing," Williams said.

"Sam wanted to get fit, he wanted the pressure of being a captain taken off him, and it worked.

"His Six Nations performances were the best for some time. He felt it was the right time to get the Lions captaincy back – he did it successful four years ago – Gatland trusts him, a lot of the players on this tour have been captained by him before and they follow him into a Lions tour," he said.

It was the right decision, he was a very good captain, he handled the press well and he knew the pressure of captaining a winning side on a Lions' tour.

Williams said, "It's a tour that not many people outside of the UK would give the Lions much of a chance of winning, but he believes they can, the team believe they can."