But the return to fitness of lock Alun Wyn Jones and flanker Dan Lydiate means that Jones, who won his 60th cap for his country against Scotland, now finds himself warming the bench at Twickenham.
And Warburton, who himself has shaken off a dead leg to return to the lineup for the England clash, says that competition for places is breeding success throughout the squad.
"Ryan being left out of the starting line-up might have surprised a few players because he was playing very well, to be fair to him," said the Cardiff Blues flanker.
"So I guess it will keep us on our toes, because no-one's place is guaranteed now. That's good in terms of the culture that we want.
"We don't want players getting lethargic or complacent and thinking they are going to get picked. Even though Ryan's being playing exceptionally well, it does send out a good message to the players."