Murray replaces Jones as Lions captain


Alun Wyn Jones left the sphere after seven minutes within the Lions’ victory in opposition to Japan

Alun Wyn Jones will miss the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa due to a shoulder harm and Eire scrum-half Conor Murray will captain the facet as an alternative.

Jones dislocated his shoulder throughout Saturday’s warm-up sport in opposition to Japan, the place Justin Tipuric additionally sustained a tour-ending shoulder harm.

Wales’ Adam Beard and Josh Navidi have been referred to as up as replacements.

“Alun Wyn will clearly be an enormous loss,” head coach Warren Gatland stated.

The appointment of 32-year-old Murray – who has toured twice earlier than with the Lions and has 89 Eire caps – could come as a shock to some.

England captain Owen Farrell and Scotland skipper Stuart Hogg additionally characteristic within the 37-man squad however Gatland stated Jones “shall be ably changed” by Murray.

“Conor is an excellent rugby participant and is held within the highest regard with each the gamers and coaches,” he continued.

“As a three-time Lions vacationer, he is aware of what shall be required as captain and I’m sure he’ll lead the squad with excellence. He may even be properly supported by an skilled management group.”

Murray stated adopting the captaincy is a “large honour” and admitted he was “a little bit bit” shocked by it.

“There’s such a very good group of leaders on this squad that it makes it much less daunting, positively,” he stated. “I feel there are lads that you may lean on.

“It is one thing that I’ll relish and luxuriate in fairly than really feel daunted by it.”

The scrum-half stated Jones had congratulated him on being named the alternative captain and shared some recommendation.

“He got here and stated ‘congrats, and simply be your self’ and I feel that is actually vital,” Murray stated.

‘Nobody is in shock’ – Gatland

Alun Wyn Jones on the ground with his head in his hands
Jones was set to go on his fourth Lions tour and first as captain

Jones left the sphere after seven minutes in the four-try win in opposition to Japan following successful by Japan’s James Moore in a ruck.

The 35-year-old was set for his first Lions tour captaincy having featured within the final 9 Checks the facet has performed.

Instantly after the match, Gatland insisted “nobody is in shock”.

“In case you are in shock, it displays again into the entire squad,” he defined. “We perceive that issues have gotten to be fluid.

“We have to make the appropriate selections as shortly as we presumably can and within the calmest method we presumably can.”

Beard will be part of Tadhg Beirne, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes because the Lions’ second row choices.

Wales team-mate Dan Biggar stated Jones was “fairly down within the altering room” after the match, echoing Gatland in saying his absence can be a “large loss”.

“You have solely obtained to take a look at his document and expertise,” Biggar stated.

“He is the go-to man. Issues transfer so shortly on these excursions. You have simply obtained to place it to at least one facet now and have a look at the group we have.”

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