In the modern game, a growing team of dieticians, analysts, specialist coaches and medical experts accompany the world's top sides and Warburton said: "Games can turn on the smallest of margins, so you have to be at your very peak to win at the top level. The people who support us as the players can make all the difference between a good player and a really great athlete."
After a training session with sports students, Warburton held a question and answer session where he advised the young people to consider what makes a great sportsperson, and how education and world-class facilities can help unlock a wide range of career opportunities.
"The range of careers in professional sport is huge, from coaches to medics, public relations experts to lawyers, as well as hospitality and events management," he added.
"The best educational facilities out there, such as those at the University of South Wales, are world class and I hope that the ambitions of the students who learn here will be the same. I'm saying to them it's important to grab every opportunity and carve out your own future."
The University of South Wales are this season proud to sponsor Sam Warburton, James Down and Sam Hobbs.
Peter Crofts, Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment at the University of South Wales, said: "The University was delighted to welcome Sam Warburton to our Sport Park recently, and are proud to be sponsoring him alongside James Down and Sam Hobbs for their season this year.
"We have invested over £4m in our sports facilities and resources, and we play for Wales on the UK and global stage as a sporting base for the very best elite coaching and sports science professionals."
Discover more about the University of South Wales at an Open Day on Saturday, October 19. For more information call 08455 76 77 78 or visit www.southwales.ac.uk/opendays/