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Confirmed: Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones ruled out of South Africa tour

The Wales lock dislocated his shoulder against Japan.

Jones was injured early in the game.
Jones was injured early in the game.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Updated Jun 26th 2021, 5:33 PM

LIONS BOSS WARREN Gatland has confirmed that captain Alun Wyn Jones’ tour is over after he suffered a dislocated shoulder during today’s win over Japan.

The Lions boss said a decision has not yet been reached on Jones’ replacement in the squad or as tour captain.

Gatland’s squad fly out to South Africa tomorrow, so will need to make swift decisions. Ireland’s James Ryan is among the possible call-ups. Jones will not travel with the Lions squad, instead returning home to Wales.

“The shoulder was dislocated, they got it back in pretty easily,” said Gatland of Jones. “We’ll get it scanned, but with a dislocated shoulder it’s never good news. We’ll look at getting someone in pretty quickly and on the plane tomorrow.

“He’ll be gutted, it’s very disappointing for him. But you’ve got to put that behind you and move on as quickly as you possibly can.

“We’re discussing who to call up at the moment with the coaches, but I got called away for this press conference.”

Meanwhile, openside flanker Justin Tipuric will have to go for scans on a shoulder injury after he departed in the first half too.

Gatland backed his squad to recover from the major early blow of losing Jones and potentially Tipuric.

“No one’s in shock, if you’re in shock it reflects back into the squad,” he said. “We’ve got to be fluid, react, and make decisions. If you go into a shock scenario and look like you’re panicking it will reflect badly.”

“It’s disappointing for Alun Wyn, same if Justin Tipuric is not right. We just have to make the right decisions.

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“We’ve got some experience, some good young blood. We’ve got some experience from the last couple of tours, a nice balance and a fantastic group of men. We’ve a lot of people who can fill in those roles.”

Gatland said Ireland back row Jack Conan had been removed from play on a precautionary basis for the closing 10 minutes. 

“Just before kick off, Jack Conan’s hamstring was a little bit tight. He did brilliantly to get through 70 minutes and we just made that decision to take him off and play with 14 men for the last 10 minutes.

“Once that hamstring tightened up, it wasn’t worth losing potentially another player before we even got on the plane.” 

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Murray Kinsella

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