4 Nov 2011

Wales' Warburton admits ref got his red card right at World Cup

8:34 am on 4 November 2011

The Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton has admitted referee Alain Rolland was right to send him off in the Rugby World Cup semi-final loss to France for a tackle that was "uglier" than he first thought.

Warburton was red-carded for a lifting tackle on Vincent Clerc in the 18th minute, leaving his team-mates short a man for more than an hour in a match they lost 9-8 at Eden Park.

The Welsh camp blasted Rolland for days, claiming the dangerous tackle wasn't worthy of a red card and the Irishman acted too hastily.

But Warburton, serving a three-week ban that ends this weekend, now says he can't complain about Rolland's decision after watching the video.

The International Rugby Board supported Rolland for upholding the law about tip tackles, but Rolland has been overlooked for refereeing any of Wales' matches in the Six Nations next year.

Warburton hopes to hold onto the captaincy in the face of the return to fitness of Matthew Rees, who was to lead Wales at the World Cup until he withdrew before the event with a neck injury.

Coach Warren Gatland will choose between them before Wales' last outing of the year against Australia early next month at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.