Is Sam Warburton the new Stephen Ferris?

Is Sam Warburton the new Stephen Ferris?

Sam Warburton is out for four months after sustaining a hamstring injury in the last quarter of the second British & Irish Lions test, so the Wales Captain is once again sidelined as he has been quite a few times since early 2012.

The question posed in the title seems a strange one to ask given that Ferris is only 27 himself, but the similarities between the two men are interesting. Two outstanding talents, two back row players, two celts, two injury records longer than the Swansea – Cork ferry journey.

Ferris was around Warburton’s age now when he first started picking up injuries on a regular basis and is still battling with an ankle inury which has seen Ulster offer him only a six-month contract, which smacks more of clinging to hope of a recovery than investing a future in the player. Warburton has picked up injuries with great regularity in the past 18 months, with this hamstring being the latest in a list that has included his knee, shoulder and back.

This piece is not to cast aspersions on these two men, they are great players and it is not their fault that they are getting injured. But there is a nagging feeling that they could both be one of those players that struggles because of something beyond their control: their body’s inability to stay injury free.

As a rugby fan I desperately hope I’m wrong.


As a Blues season ticket holder I’m selfishly sad about this. He should hopefully be fit for the AIs but then I fear he’ll get injured again and be out till 6Ns etc. I don’t blame him but it was mad to think that four of the original Lions squad are Blues players. You wouldn’t have known that if you watched the Blues last season.

He does seem to have problems staying fit which is a shame because he is a quality player. Sadly the players these days train and work so hard that it is inevitable that for some their bodies just cant handle it.

The reason is simple. Overtraining. Rugby has become a competition of physicality; the players are under enormous pressure to get bigger than their opposite numbers and keep getting bigger, thus they over train. Look at the difference between Tipuric and Warburton; Tips clearly does not over train- he doesn’t have Warburton’s size and muscularity but he doesn’t get injured that much either. It takes several days to recover fully from a game and to grow muscle. Lifting weights in the gym 3 or 4 times a week is crazy. They are knackered by the time they get on the pitch.

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