Northern Ireland

Alun Wyn Jones to captain British and Irish Lions in first Check in opposition to South Africa – NewsEverything NorthernIreland

Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones made his return from damage within the British and Irish Lions’ win over the Stormers on 17 July
Venue: Cape City Stadium Date: Saturday, 24 July Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Protection: Comply with dwell textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site and app.

Alun Wyn Jones returns to captain the British and Irish Lions within the first Check in opposition to South Africa on Saturday, in a facet that features three Scottish gamers for the primary time since 1997.

Scrum-half Ali Value is most well-liked to Conor Murray, whereas Duhan van der Merwe and Stuart Hogg are within the again three.

Eire’s Jack Conan is at quantity eight, with no place within the squad for 2017 Check starter Taulupe Faletau.

Head coach Warren Gatland mentioned choosing the XV was “extremely tough”.

“In my 4 Excursions as a Lions coach, this was by far the toughest Check choice I’ve been concerned in,” mentioned Gatland.

“We could not have requested for extra from the gamers up to now; they’ve all put their arms up and made choosing a beginning XV extremely tough.

“In fact, we’d have been proud of any variety of totally different mixtures throughout the 23. Nevertheless, we’re very happy with the facet we have settled on.”

After making a miraculous restoration from a dislocated shoulder, Jones will turn out to be the primary participant within the skilled period to win 10 successive Check caps for the Lions.

Elsewhere within the forwards, Luke Cowan-Dickie begins at hooker, and is alongside the Welshman Wyn Jones and Eire’s Tadgh Furlong within the entrance row.

Maro Itoje joins Jones within the second row, resuming their partnership from New Zealand 4 years in the past, whereas the English pair of Courtney Lawes and Tom Curry make up the again row alongside Conan.

Dan Biggar companions Value at half-back, with Robbie Henshaw and Elliot Daly within the midfield. England captain Owen Farrell is among the many replacements.

It means there are six Englishmen, three Welshmen, three Irishmen and three Scots picked within the facet.

The Springboks introduced their XV on Tuesday, with captain Siya Kolisi included after his restoration from Covid-19.

Lions crew to face South Africa: Hogg; A Watson, Daly, Henshaw, Van Der Merwe; Biggar, Value; W Jones, Cowan-Dickie, Furlong, Itoje, AW Jones (capt), Lawes, Curry, Conan.

Replacements: Owens, Sutherland, Sinckler, Beirne, H Watson, Murray, Farrell, L Williams.

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