Wales v South Africa: Sam Warburton denies having issue with referee Alain Rolland

Rolland sent off the Wales captain in the 2011 World Cup semi-final

Wales captain Sam Warburton will have no issues with Alain Rolland when the Irishman referees Saturday's Millennium Stadium clash against South Africa.

However, Warburton admits he does not know what kind of reception Rolland can expect from an anticipated capacity crowd.

Rolland controversially sent off Warburton during the 2011 World Cup semi-final against France in Auckland.

It meant Wales played for more than hour with 14 men after Warburton was dismissed following a dangerous tackle on Les Bleus wing Vincent Clerc. They lost 9-8.

Rolland, who was subsequently vilified by sections of the Welsh public, has not refereed a Wales Test match involving Warburton in Cardiff since that tournament.

Asked what type of reception Rolland could get, Warburton said: "I don't know, really. I am not sure what it is going to be.

"For me, if it (World Cup red card) happened again now and I faced the same consequences, I would completely understand.

"I still agree with what he (Rolland) said. As far as the laws go, you have to do it from a health and safety perspective. What the fans think, I'm not sure. Whether they have forgotten about it or not, you might have to ask them.

"I have barely spoken to Alain since the incident and have certainly never spoken to him about it. I joke about it now saying it was a PR stunt because nobody knew about me then.

"I only realised he was refereeing on Monday. I don't think it will have any bearing on how I work with the referee.

"I met him in the Italy match in the last Six Nations and we said hello. It feels like such a long time ago, I've forgotten about it until somebody brings it up."

Warburton will lead a side against the Springboks that features one new cap - 21-year-old Ospreys wing Eli Walker - and nine of the British and Irish Lions third Test team responsible for demolishing Australia 41-16 in Sydney four months ago.

Walker fills the vacancy created by Alex Cuthbert, who is nursing an ankle injury, while centre Scott Williams partners his Scarlets colleague Jonathan Davies in midfield, with Jamie Roberts (ankle) sidelined.

There is also a return for fly-half Rhys Priestland after he missed last season's entire title-winning RBS 6 Nations campaign due to an Achilles tendon injury.

Wales, though, have only beaten one of the southern hemisphere giants - South Africa, New Zealand or Australia - since Gatland took charge, and that Wallabies scalp was claimed five years ago.

Warburton said: "We want a scalp in a Welsh shirt now.

"To win the series for the Lions in Australia was immense, we will take massive confidence from that, but until we beat one of these (southern hemisphere) sides we can't call ourselves contenders for the World Cup."

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future