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British and Irish Lions
Warburton backs Gatland for Lions
ESPNscrum Staff
March 20, 2012
Wales coach Warren Gatland poses with the Six Nations and Triple Crown silverware, Wales v France, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, March 17, 2012
Warren Gatland claimed his second Six Nations Grand Slam and Triple Crown since taking charge of Wales © Getty Images
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Wales captain Sam Warburton has thrown his support behind Warren Gatland to be appointed head coach of the 2013 British and Irish Lions.

Wales' double Grand Slam and Six Nations title-winning mastermind will be interviewed for the post along with Ireland boss Declan Kidney and Scotland's Andy Robinson, according to the Press Association Sport. But it is thought that New Zealander Gatland's appointment is viewed as a formality for the three-Test trip to Australia. It should be confirmed next month.

"I love working with him - he is a fantastic coach," Warburton said. "If you look at his record - two Grand Slams and a World Cup semi-final - he deserves the Lions job. He gets the best out of players, and I owe a lot to him. He put his faith in me as a young player and captain."

Warburton, meanwhile, is due to see a specialist today in an attempt to gauge the extent of a shoulder injury that forced him off during last Saturday's Six Nations title clincher against France.

It was his third different injury of this season's Six Nations following earlier thigh and knee trouble that contributed to him playing just 160 minutes from a possible 400 in the championship. Warburton has already undergone an MRI scan, but that proved inconclusive.

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