Home Rugby Stuart Barnes: Sam Warburton Was Not A Great Player

Stuart Barnes: Sam Warburton Was Not A Great Player

The rugby world is still reeling over the news that Sam Warburton has retired at the young age of 29. 

The two-time British and Irish Lions captain has had a distinguished career where he led the Lions to a Series victory against Australia in 2013 and also drawing the series against the All Blacks last year. He also led Wales to two Six Nations Championships and a Grand Slam.

Warburton hasn’t played since that famous draw against the All Blacks last year in Auckland and the last 24 hours has seen the rugby world and greats across many sports outlining their admiration for the Welsh star.

Sky Sports pundit Stuart Barnes, however, believes that Warburton should not be classified as a great player.

“Congratulations and commiserations to Sam Warburton on his illustrious career but sadly premature retirement. Wales are not left short of either leaders or sevens,” Barnes said.

“You could knock his game but he understood it was okay as long as the stick wasn’t personal and it could never be that as he is such a decent man. Great player? No. Great influence? Definitely.”

“Game a little limited. Didn’t know what his hands were for, for much of his career. Said who? Sam himself,” Barnes continued.

“When both fit I preferred SOB (Sean O’Brien) at 7. That is not to denigrate one hell of a career.”

About Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here: