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Sam Warburton the Lions’ brightest star in series that had everything | Robert Kitson

The Lions captain did not make the starting XV for the first Test but his influence in the second and third matches against New Zealand was incalculable

There are several defining images from the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour, many of them involving the same colour: the red card shown to Sonny Bill Williams in Wellington, Warren Gatland’s red clown nose, the oceans of red in the stadiums and, perhaps above all else, the red?shirted Lions captain, Sam Warburton, jokingly yanking the trophy towards himself as he and his New Zealand opposite number, Kieran Read, posed for end-of-series photographs.

Related: Warren Gatland sees Lions’ draw against All Blacks as next best thing to success | Andy Bull

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