Cardiff Blues head coach John Mulvihill has revealed what went on in the days leading up to Sam Warburton’s retirement.
Earlier this month, news that the two-time British and Irish Lions captain would hang up his boots at the age of 29 rocked the rugby world.
It comes after he took a year out of the game following the drawn Lions series in New Zealand in an attempt to get his body free from all the niggling problems ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
But, with pre-season matches on the horizon, Warburton found that his body couldn’t do what it used to.
In a behind-the-scenes video released by Cardiff Blues , Mulvihill explains how Warburton requested a day off from training before revealing the news and that the openside addressed the squad personally.
“Last Sunday, I got a text from Warby saying that he had some personal things going on and that he wouldn’t be in training on the Monday,” Mulvihill said.
“We spoke on Monday and organised a meeting for him on Tuesday morning. I got to thinking that it was something serious.
“He was worried that he’d be letting myself down, the Cardiff Blues fans down and his fellow players.
“We decided that it was best for him to come in and speak to the players himself, personally. He explained exactly how he was feeling. His body wasn’t right, it hadn’t been right for quite a while. He couldn’t get back to where he wanted to be.
“The boys appreciated him coming in and he’s always going to have our support.”
The Aussie added: “He’s somebody that is going to be in and around the club for the rest of the season. As he said in the meeting with the boys, he hasn’t died he’s just moving on.
“As a one-club man, he’s just going to support us on and off the field moving forward.
“In the back row, especially number seven, we have Ellis Jenkins who has captained Wales, Josh Navidi plays there, Olly Robinson came on and had a starring role in the cup final.”
In the wake of the announcement, the region have confirmed that Jenkins, who co-captained Wales on their successful summer tour of America and Argentina, will lead the region next season.