Rugby World Cup 2011
Warbuton astounded by Faletau
October 4, 2011
Sam Warburton has led by example during Wales' progression to the knockout stages © Getty Images
Wales captain Sam Warburton has admitted that he has been staggered by the performances of back-row colleague Toby Faletau in the Rugby World Cup to date.
The 20-year-old Faletau announced on his arrival on the game's biggest stage by capping a barnstorming display against defending champions South Africa with a try and he has not looked back since, playing a key role in Wales' progression to the knockout stages on the back of wins over Samoa, Namibia and Fiji.
Warbuton, himself just 22, has been take aback by not only the way in which Faletau has taken the tournament in his stride but also his remarkable powers of recovery.
"I think Toby is unbelievable," Warburton said. "He has started every game in this tournament, but he wakes up the next day and he is not even aching.
"He is very professional, and to play alongside him in the back-row has been incredible. He is just so chilled out, a good guy to be around.
"When I was 20 years old I would have been in no shape to play No.8 in a World Cup. For such a young boy, he is amazing."
Warburton is now hoping that Faletau can continue his impressive form against quarter-final opponents Ireland. However, the Welsh skipper is well aware that Declan Kidney's side are playing with real belief once again after stunning Australia in the pool stages.
"Everyone in the northern hemisphere knows Ireland have that type of performance in them," he said of their victory over the Wallabies in Wellington.
"They have got a lot of experienced players there, players peaking at the right time, so it did not surprise me too much."
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