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Sam Warburton close to Wales return

Welsh skipper has been sidelined since March after injuring a nerve in his shoulder in a game against France.

Sam Warburton: close to full recovery. David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

WALES CAPTAIN Sam Warburton says he is fully fit and ready for his team’s three-Test tour of Australia in June.

The Cardiff Blues openside flanker has been sidelined since March after injuring a nerve in his shoulder playing against France in the Six Nations.

Warburton still has some medical appointments to complete but is confident of being back to his best when Wales tackle their fellow 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-finalists.

“I feel good,” Warburton said today.  ”Earlier this week I did a session with some upper body circuits, and I did some contact pad work and have had no issues so far.

“The physios and I are very happy.  I am waiting for an appointment to see (specialist) Michael Fox in London but that is just a final check-up.

“The physios said they will judge it on how I feel functionally when I am training, so if I am happy with it and I can take part in contact with no pain then happy days.

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“We covered some contact today and I had no qualms about it.”

Warburton, 23, managed to play just 160 from a possible 400 minutes for Wales due to multiple leg problems during their 2012 Six Nations triumph. And a lack of playing time so far this year means Warburton, who was sent off in Wales 9-8 RWC semi-final defeat to France, wants to make up for lost time down under. Their first Test of the tour will be in Brisbane on June 9, with matches to follow in Melbourne and Sydney.

“I feel nice and fresh,” he said.  ”I may be a bit short of match fitness which might tell in the last 10 minutes, but with 14 other super-fit guys on the field hopefully it won’t be too much of an issue.”

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