Rugby: British and Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton to miss Six Nations after knee surgery

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton took the decision to have the operation after consulting with the Welsh Rugby Union.
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton took the decision to have the operation after consulting with the Welsh Rugby Union.PHOTO: REUTERS

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) - British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton will miss the Six Nations after the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) announced on Friday (Dec 8) he had undergone knee surgery.

The 29-year-old backrow forward - who captained the Lions to the thrilling 1-1 Test series draw with world champions New Zealand earlier this year - took the decision to have the operation after consulting with the WRU.

"With Warburton currently sidelined with a neck injury, the proactive approach was taken with a view of ensuring he returns to action fully fit. The recovery is anticipated between four to six months," read the WRU statement.

Warburton, who also led the Lions to a Test series win over Australia in 2013, said he was looking forward to returning to the fray.

"In close consultation with the WRU and Cardiff Blues (Warburton's club), we decided it would be proactive to have surgery now on a knee injury and I'm looking forward to returning to action fully fit," he added.

The Six Nations runs from Feb 3 to March 17 with the Welsh getting their campaign under way at home to Scotland.