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Page last updated at 09:21 GMT, Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Sam Warburton and Tom James sign Cardiff Blues deals

Sam Warburton
Warburton made his Cardiff Blues debut in 2009

Wales flanker Sam Warburton and wing Tom James have committed their future to the Cardiff Blues by signing contract extensions with the region.

Warburton, 22, has made 36 appearances for the Blues and has established himself in Warren Gatland's Wales side.

James, 23, is second in the Blues' all-time try-scoring list with 28 and has won 10 caps for Wales.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be staying here," said Warburton, who has won 11 caps for Wales since his debut in 2009.

The Blues have not revealed the length of the contract extensions but they are understood to both be three years.

Warburton became a member of the Blues Academy in 2006 and made his regional debut away to Edinburgh in 2009.

"I'm a Cardiff boy, born and bred, and to be offered and sign a new deal is fantastic. I'm only 22 years old and feel there's a lot more to achieve," Warburton added.

"I've only been with the seniors for three seasons and with all the young players such as Bradley Davies, Leigh Halfpenny and Tom James, we've got a very bright future.

"I've come through with the same bunch of boys in the Academy and we've all progressed together so it's been quite a smooth transition.

"What is exciting is I've known some of these boys for six years already through rugby circles and there's about 10 or 12 of us who have come through within a few years of each other, which shows the systems are working.

"To be honest when I was in the Blues Academy aged 16 or 17 years old I always wanted to break through into the Blues but never knew when that would be."

This season Warburton has established himself ahead of the experienced Martyn Williams for club and country.

"With Martyn at the club I always knew it was going to be tough," admitted Warburton.

"On the international front my call up came a lot sooner than I expected and the caps have notched up pretty quickly."

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see also
Wales select Warburton at flanker
04 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Warburton inspired by mate Bale
04 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Warburton receives Blues Cup call
30 Mar 09 |  Welsh

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