Wales receives Warburton boost

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Wales received a timely boost ahead of the Six Nations with the news Sam Warburton will start for Cardiff Blues in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday (AEDT).

Warburton has been sidelined since November after suffering an ankle injury in Cardiff's Pro12 defeat at Ospreys, but had been hopeful of returning in time for the Six Nations.

He missed his original comeback date of 17 January, but will finally take to the field against Calvisano, giving him two weeks to prove his fitness to national coach Warren Gatland.

Warburton was named in Wales's provisional squad announced on Wednesday (AEDT), one of 37 players selected by Gatland ahead of its tournament opener with Ireland.

"Sam has been gutted because he is really keen to play all the time for Cardiff Blues," Cardiff coach Danny Wilson said. "I have learnt very quickly that he wants to be out there.

"I have to give credit to John Miles [Cardiff's head of medical services] and his team.

"They have got him back in perfect time. It was quite a nasty injury, so it's good to see him back."