Rugby headlines as Alun Wyn lauded and Lions forward hints at retirement U-turn


Listed here are your rugby morning headlines for Wednesday 25 Might.

Alun Wyn Jones likened to Martin Johnson

Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones has been backed to have the identical impact as Martin Johnson as captain of the Lions.

The Englishman led the vacationers to a sequence victory in South Africa in 1997, earlier than he was made captain of his nation.

Ian McGeechan made what turned out to be a masterstroke after watching him carefully in English membership rugby.

“A Lions captain has to have the respect of the gamers at the start,” McGeechan informed the Telegraph.

“I used to be teaching at Northampton on the time and Johnno was at Leicester, so there have been some huge head-to-heads — East Midlands derbies.

“And whenever you had been there, you noticed the presence Johnno had on the sphere, though he wasn’t captain. Not simply together with his personal group however with the opposition as nicely. He had an impression.

“I mentioned to Jim and Fran that, psychologically, the primary toss of the coin on the first Check, the South African captain goes to must look as much as the Lions captain bodily. And I simply felt his presence and the way in which different gamers reacted to him was what we wanted.”

As for Jones, McGeechan – and former England and Lions hooker Brian Moore – imagine the lock will characteristic within the Check sequence.

“He’s the standout selection for captain,” insisted McGeechan.

“It was the one means with the way in which the Six Nations went, the way in which Wales went, you’re again to the respect {that a} captain or a participant wants from the opposite three international locations. And he has that.

“There isn’t a query, and his personal work-rate, his off-field behaviour, his angle. All the pieces about him is what you want for a Lions captain.”

Moore added: “And he’ll have the identical impact as Johnno on the coin toss, as nicely.”

Stander not completed but

Eire worldwide CJ Stander has hinted that he is not completed enjoying but.

The 31-year-old Lions star stunned everybody earlier this 12 months by saying that he can be retiring from skilled rugby on the finish of the 12 months and shifting again to South Africa.

Having performed his final sport for Eire, that transfer is now edging nearer for Stander nevertheless it appears he has loads left within the tank.

Talking on his future and explaining his choice to return to South Africa, he informed the Late, Late Present: “I believe I’ve bought lots of rugby left in me, for positive. I’d say at the least seven years.

“I used to be in South Africa throughout the lockdown, I bought a possibility to return and spend time with my household and realised what’s vital for me, took inventory of the place I wish to be in a number of years.

“Our daughter Everli, having her there and seeing how she interacted with the grandparents, I went to my grandparents’ grave and I stood there and thought I missed their funerals, however that was not the issue.

“The issue that I used to be scuffling with was I missed the final 9 or ten years of their lives. That was powerful, very powerful, and I mentioned to Jean-Marie [his wife] that I don’t wish to take that chance away from Everli in any respect.”

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Wainwright hopeful to make mark at No. 8 this summer time

Wales and Dragons star Aaron Wainwright is hopeful he could make a mark in the back of the scrum this summer time.

The 23-year-old has largely featured at blindside for Wales since making his Check debut in 2018, with simply two of his 15 begins coming at No. 8.

Nevertheless, Wayne Pivac has beforehand admitted he sees the 29-cap Wainwright as extra of an eight and with Taulupe Faletau away with the Lions this summer time, the July Checks in opposition to Canada and Argentina in Cardiff are the right alternative to put down a marker.

“To try to get chosen is unquestionably the purpose for me,” Wainwright informed the Six Nations web site when requested about his Wales hopes.

“The video games are on the Principality now so I’ll be wanting ahead to that, however I’m simply concentrating on the subsequent two matches in opposition to Glasgow and Leinster for the Dragons.

“I’ve undoubtedly been enjoying my finest rugby at No.8 over the previous couple of video games and I’m having fun with enjoying there. I really feel snug in the back of the scrum.

“It’s good to have a few totally different choices and I’m fairly versatile.

“Hopefully I do get an opportunity to play there and might present what I can do. It’s good to have the ability to play six and eight and change in between, but when I get the possibility to play, I’d similar to to play nicely.”

Lions call-up Simmonds reveals Eddie Jones’ congratulatory message

Lions call-up Sam Simmonds has revealed England head coach Eddie Jones messaged him to congratulate him on being chosen for the tour of South Africa.

Exeter Chiefs No. 8 Simmonds hasn’t performed for England since 2018, and wasn’t even included in his Jones’ 28-man squad for this 12 months’s Six Nations Championship.

However that did not cease Jones from reaching out to Simmonds after Warren Gatland chosen him for this summer time’s tour.

“He despatched me a textual content to say, ‘Properly completed’. Over the previous few months, there was extra chat with the England set-up and that provides you some confidence,” Simmonds informed the Each day Mail.

“I used to be all the time hopeful that if I wasn’t chosen by the Lions then I’d be concerned on the England summer time tour.

“I used to be gutted to not be concerned within the Six Nations however the constructive is that my kind has been good for Exeter and I’ve been enjoying in a successful group, which gave me the absolute best alternative to be picked for the Lions.

“It’ll be nice to proper a number of the wrongs of after I performed worldwide rugby prior to now. I’m extra mature and extra bodily now. I understand how to coach.”

Boks captain almost again to his finest

Sharks coach Sean Everitt has declared that Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi is nearly again to his finest.

Everitt mentioned the South Africa captain‚ who has featured in all 4 matches of the Sharks’ Rainbow Cup marketing campaign to this point‚ is getting higher because the go to of the British and Irish Lions will get nearer.

“Earlier within the 12 months it was a priority that Siya was not enjoying that nicely and was injured‚ however he has bought over his damage now and I believe he’s nearly again to his finest‚” Everitt informed BusinessLive.

“Siya was actually good in opposition to the Stormers.

“He bought two steals on the sphere and had two huge moments in a row within the build-up to Yaw Penxe’s strive. I assumed he was actually good and I’ve mentioned earlier than that he’s getting higher and higher. I’m simply so comfortable that he put in such a extremely good efficiency and deserves it‚ as a result of he has labored extraordinarily exhausting.”


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