SW7 Testimonial 2017/2018

Website : www.samwarburtontestimonial.com

“The Three Amigos”

RWC 2011

When Warren Gatland’s young Welsh squad left for the New Zealand Rugby World Cup in 2011 no one knew quite what to expect from them. The squad was bursting with talent, but one aspect of Wales’ new approach Warren Gatland was very sure of. The back row combination of Dan Lydiate, Taulupe Faletau and the youngest World Cup Captain Sam Warburton was to prove pivotal in Wales’ success in reaching the RWC semi- finals. The “Chop tackle and Jackal” technique perfected by Dan and Sam was to give Wales the edge in their group stages. Combined with this superb defensive strategy Taulupe’s destructive driving play and offloading game was decisive in the titanic quarter final against their much fancied Celtic cousins, Ireland. Wales went on to outscore Ireland by three tries to one in that unforgettable match taking them into only their second World Cup semi final in history.

This unique back row combination Grogg celebrates not only the fearless dedication and sheer hard graft that went into creating probably the best Welsh back row combination since 1971, but also the famous camaraderie enjoyed on and off field by these “Three Amigos”.

“The Whitchurch Wonders”

When Geraint Thomas became the first Welshman to win the Tour de France in 2018 he completed a Triple Crown of sporting wonders to be produced by Whitchurch High School. Alongside Wales’ greatest footballer of the modern era, Gareth Bale and British and Irish Lions and Wales Captain supreme, Sam Warburton Whitchurch High School can be incredibly proud of their world status as a school of excellence in the sporting field. Congratulations to all the staff and teachers who have helped in the development of these three Welsh Icons. Here’s to the future of Whitchurch High and we all look forward to seeing whose next..... no pressure!

This Grogg set of “The Whitchurch Wonders” is the only one of its kind to be made available to the public. The owner of this celebratory combination piece will be in exalted company as Gareth, Geraint and Sam will be the only other people in the world to own one similar.

To place a bid on either piece to be taken into the Auction at Sam's Wales v England Dinner at the Arms Park Thursday 21st February please email Charlotte at charlotte.final@engagesports.com by 4pm Wednesday 20th. For more details on Sam's Testimonial and benefitting charities please visit https://www.samwarburtontestimonial.com/

Amlin Challenge Cup Champions 2010 Sam Warburton Bust

On the 23rd of May 2010 at the Stade Velodrome Marseille, Cardiff Blues made history becoming the first Welsh team to win a European title when they defeated the overwhelming favourites and star-studded Toulon to claim the Amlin Challenge Cup. With 18 minutes left to go and leading 28- 16 Blues head coach Dai Young replaced the experienced Maama Molitika with the young 22 year old Sam Warburton with a plan of locking Toulon out of the game and ensuring victory. The decision paid off and the Blues went on to defeat the big spenders of European rugby in one of the greatest games in Cardiff’s rugby history. In less than 16 months Warren Gatland had recognised Sam’s rapid ascent by making him the youngest ever captain of an international team at a Rugby World Cup. The rest as they say is history.

Sam has chosen this strip for his Unique Testimonial Bust as one of special significance. One of the more colourful and dramatic kits worn by the Blues in recent years it represents to Sam a turning point in his illustrious career.

To place a bid to be taken into the Auction at Sam’s Gala Dinner on Tuesday 23rd October at Cardiff City Hall, please email Morgan by 5pm Monday 22nd, on Morgan.Towler@engagesport.com.
Benefitting Charities are NSPCC Cymru Wales & Velindre Cancer Centre Fundraising
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Unique "Better than a Slam” Sam Warburton Testimonial Bust

On the 16th of March 2013 a super confident and unbeaten England came to Cardiff seeking a Grand Slam, while Wales having recovered from a slow start with three away wins under their belts lay in wait. What happened that day was to be described by Wales’ Sam Warburton as the best moment of his career and by their caretaker coach Rob Howley as “Better than a Slam”.

Wales needed a seven point margin to take the title from England -what they got was twenty seven in Wales’ biggest ever win over the old enemy.


Wales were dominant up front with a brutal front row display laying the platform, allowing Wales’ brilliant back row to put England to the sword and in doing so creating one of the greatest tries in the history of this famous fixture. Leading 20 points to 3 Taulupe Faletau danced his way up to the Welsh 22 where Sam Warburton picked up the ball and scorched upfield leaving the English defence in tatters. From the ensuing ruck the ball reached Justin Tipuric who brilliantly dummied before putting Alex Cuthbert in for his second try. The whole of Wales went wild. Wales were back to back champions for the first time since 1978 and 1979.The core of this Welsh team was to become the backbone of Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions, series winning, test side in Australia later that summer.

This unique bust represents Sam in the strip he wore for Wales during that unforgettable record victory over England.

To place a bid to be taken into the Auction at Coleg Cambria on the 17th October 2018, please email Emma by the 16th October on Emma.Brennan@NSPCC.org.uk.

In addition to the Unique Bust, No5 of only 7 made of this fully logoed Sam Warburton Lions 2017 Grogg will also be auctioned on the night, bids to be taken into the event can also be made via the details above. Please make sure you specify which Grogg you will be bidding on.

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Unique Sam Warburton Wales World Cup 2011 Bust

In 2011 Warren Gatland's Wales left the U.K. for New Zealand with their new "Super Seven" Sam Warburton who was to become the youngest player ever to Captain their country at a Rugby World Cup. After coming up short in the previous three Six Nations Championships no one knew what to expect from the emerging new look Wales but a morale boosting win over England in the warm up matches was maybe a hint of what was to come. Wales took the tournament by storm and came heartbreakingly close to reaching the final for the first time in their history. During the tournament Wales built their approach on a formidable defence and defeated their Celtic cousins Ireland in the quarter final with their now famous "chop tackle and jackal" plan, executed so effectively by Dan Lydiate and his young captain Sam Warburton.


This Unique Bust of Sam in the fully logoed World Cup 2011 strip represents the meteoric rise to rugby fame for Wales' new Captain and inevitably leading Wales to a Grand Slam the following season.

To place a bid to be taken into the Auction at 'The Captains Dinner' on Wednesday 27th June at Cardiff & Vale College, please email Morgan by the 26th June on Morgan.Towler@engagesport.com.

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Unique Sam Warburton British and Irish Lions 2017 Bust

Over the last 53 years at the Groggshop without doubt the most difficult decision we have to make on a regular basis is who to make next. As each master figure takes at least 10 to 12 weeks to complete making a wrong call can be very costly in terms of time. When it comes to the more academic pieces the choice is even more crucial. This is why to date I have made only eight busts which are more portraits than caricature and as a result much more time consuming. For once however with Sam the decision was an easy one. Once in a generation a player of Sam's stature comes along who is not only an inspirational leader but a great rugby player and from a personal point of view an amazing subject for a sculptor!


This unique British and Irish Lions Bust depicts Sam in the 2017 strip worn by him whilst captaining the Lions to their series tying win over the back to back world champions on that momentous evening in Wellington. It will also include an inscription recording that famous second test victory over New Zealand. Sam now joins the pantheon of legendary Welsh players to be made as a bust by the Groggshop and he is in great company along with Sir Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams, Mervyn Davies, Ray Gravell, Neil Jenkins, Shane Williams and Martyn Williams.


This unique piece went for Auction on Tuesday 1st May at The Hurlingham Club, London.

Details on our next piece for upcoming dinner at the Captains Dinner at the Cardiff & Vale College (27th June) will be announced early June - Keep watching!

The Magnificent Seven ~ 9" Fully Logoed Lions 2017 Sam Warburton


Alongside the Unique Busts of Sam the World of Groggs has created an extremely Limited Edition of the fully logoed 9" Lions Sam Warburton. 

The 'Magnificent Seven' is limited to only Seven pieces and bids can be made prior to each event by emailing Andy on andy@30-3.co.uk.

Sam Warburton by Richard Hughes Patron of the SW7 Testimonial 

As an artist you never stop looking for new subject material. It's something that's instinctive. My eyes are forever scanning faces and working out how to unlock their secrets and transform them into three dimensional studies. So, when the Young Sam Warburton wandered into the Groggshop one day I was thunderstruck. I was aware who he was, obviously. Sam had already captained Wales at under 18s, 19s and 20s age groups and was being talked about as a future captain of Wales at senior level. But that's not what interested me. Sam was sculpting gold and as the late great Prince once said.. " Cars like that don't pass you every day". My father was called and Sam happily sat to have his photographs taken but to me it was all unnecessary. I'd already locked his features in the hard drive in my head and I couldn't wait to start making him.

I didn't have to wait long as Sam quickly burst onto the international scene and very soon was captaining not only Wales but the British and Irish lions. It's difficult to explain what it is about someone that makes them interesting to a sculptor and I can remember struggling to explain to Sam's lovely parents of how he reminded me of a Trojan warrior from Classical Greek sculpture, I hope they understood! Of course, it helped that this modest young rugby player went on to become one of the most successful of the modern generation, but his quiet dignity and positive attitude have been his true hallmarks. Sam has often told us he doesn't keep much rugby memorabilia at home, but he does have his many different Groggs displayed proudly. What greater compliment could I ask for!


Grand Slam Sam 2012 ~ Whitchurch High, Blues and Wales (Career in Groggs - at that time!)


2013 British & Irish Lions and 1st Generation Welsh 9" Limited Edition

Sam truly deserves his special year. For all the highs and lows of his Stellar career he has never lost the youthful charm that first captivated us all and inspired a generation of young players to follow in his footsteps.

For me I can't wait to break out the clay and start making him again!

Well done Sam from all your friends and fans and the World of Groggs

Sam Warburton Testimonial Bust Work In Progress

The Sam Bust in early stages, late 2017.

The man himself pays Richard's Studio a visit to take a look at the progress.


After a successful firing the master Bust was ready to go for moulding with our production team.