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RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011: Gareth Bale backs Sam Warburton and Wales

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14 Oct 2011 16:40:08

RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011: Gareth Bale backs Sam Warburton and Wales

Gareth Bale hopes his former classmate and current Wales captain Sam Warburton will lead the country to victory in Saturday's World Cup semi-final against France. Many pundits have tipped Wales to lift the Webb Ellis trophy after beating Ireland last weekend to secure a place in the semi-finals. Warren Gatland's side will make their first World Cup final appearance against either Australia or New Zealand next weekend should they beat England's conquerors in Auckland in what should be a tight encounter at Eden Park. Welsh wizards: Gareth Bale (left) and Sam Warburton have been in fine form As a proud Welshman, Bale is obviously keen to see his countrymen make it to the final, but the match also has another level of significance for the Tottenham star as his former classmate at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, Warburton, will be the man who will be leading the Wales team out to face the French. Many questioned the appointment of Warburton as Wales captain when he took over the role from the injured Matthew Rees prior to the tournament, but the 23-year-old has gained many plaudits for his performances and Bale is proud of the flanker. 'I was in the same class with him when we were younger and he has always been good at sport,' Bale told Spurs TV Online. 'He was in the football team and the rugby team. He's done very well. Sent with love: Bale was on target for Wales against Bulgaria in midweek 'He's the captain of the national team and has been playing amazing - a few of our friends have been watching him and said he's been unbelievable. It's great for him and for Wales rugby and hopefully they can get to the final. 'It's great having two people come out of Whitchurch High School getting to play for their national team. 'Hopefully he can continue to stay at the highest level.' While the early kick-off times in the southern hemisphere mean Bale has not been the most devoted of Wales fans during the tournament, he will be totally behind the team tomorrow morning. Marching on: Wales celebrate their quarter-final victory over Ireland 'I've been keeping an eye on the results - it's been hard to get up at four o'clock in the morning,' said Bale, who helped the Welsh football team secure back-to-back victories for the first time since 2005 last week. 'It's great for our country. The football team is doing really well at the moment and now the rugby team is doing well. It's a good time to be Welsh. Hopefully the lads can win on Saturday against France. 'That would be amazing for the players, for the fans and for everybody associated with Wales. 'I think everybody is looking forward to it and everybody is optimistic that we can beat France. I think everybody in the country wishes them good luck.'  Bale backs Wales to continue upward climb after flying finish to qualifyingSpeed praises matchwinner Bale after Spurs winger shines against BulgariaCaptain marvel Sam Warburton's star just keeps on risingSam's the man who puts the Buzz into Wales: Warburton looking to lead Wales to glory


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