Wales loose forward Sam Warburton will be happy just to earn selection for the British & Irish Lions side heading to New Zealand this year and has no concerns over his chances of being named as captain for a second time.
“I’d love to be in that squad and I can’t look past further than that. There’s so much competition in the squad,” Warburton said.
“I would love to go on tour and I’ve always respected the players who have gone on multiple Lions tours and that’s something I’d love to try and do.”
The New Zealand tour includes a total of 10 fixtures to be played from June 3 to July 8, including three Tests against the All Blacks and five matches against New Zealand Super Rugby teams.
Warburton became the first Welsh captain for the Lions since 1977 when he led the side to Australia in 2013, a series won 2-1 by the visitors despite his absence from the final Test through injury.
The squad for the New Zealand tour will be announced on April 19 and Warburton, who captained Wales for a record 49 games, is reportedly among the favourites to wear the armband.
“Fans, pundits, media are all talking about it but I haven’t had a single conversation about that,” he said.
“You just know that’s part and parcel of playing international rugby. It’s a compliment but it’s something I’m not thinking about.”
Meanwhile, Denny Solomona has his sights on an England place following his controversial switch to rugby union.
The Sale winger has scored 11 tries in as many games this season for the Sharks after moving from Super League side Castleford Tigers.
That could potentially bring him onto Eddie Jones’s radar for the summer tour of Argentina, having completed a three-year residency period to qualify, and the New Zealand-born flyer would welcome the chance.
“Yes, 100 per cent,” he told The Times. “If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll take it with both hands.
“At the moment, I’m just focusing on the now and playing well for Sale. If it comes, it comes.
“I’ve bought a house here, I’m engaged to marry an English girl, I’m well and truly inside the English culture now. I’ve been here three years and that’s the choice I want to make.”
Solomona did not comment on his acrimonious departure from Castleford, which remains the subject of legal action after he retired from rugby league – age 23, with two years left on his contract – and returned to the code he played as a youngster in New Zealand.
Solomona, who has previously represented Samoa in rugby league, said: “There’s always been an aspiration to come back and finish what I started in union. Now I’m doing it.
“I sat down and spoke to Steve Diamond and my fiancee and we said [the criticism is] bound to happen. I just block [social media critics]. If it wasn’t for the Sale boys being so welcoming, it would have been a nightmare.
“Everyone’s got their frustrations. I’ve moved on, I’m sure they’ll move on too.”
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