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Murray named Lions captain After Jones Ruled Out of tour

 

Conor Murray has been named as British & Irish Lions captain after Alun Wyn Jones was ruled out of the tour of South Africa.

Wales’ Adam Beard and Josh Navidi have been called into the 37-man touring squad to replace Jones and Justin Tipuric, who was also ruled out by an injury sustained in the Lions’ warm-up match against Japan on Saturday.

Jones, who was set to go on his fourth tour, dislocated his shoulder in the opening minutes of the game, while Tipuric also suffered a shoulder problem in the first half.

Jones was set to go on his fourth Lions tour before the injury setback
Jones was set to go on his fourth Lions tour before the injury setback

Skipper Jones suffered the injury while being cleared out of a ruck and was escorted from the pitch by medics.

A post on the Lions’ official Twitter account read: “Meet our new Lions Rugby 2021 Captain – Conor Murray. Not the way he would have wanted to become Captain but congratulations to the three-time Lions Tourist. A proven talent and an excellent leader.”

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “Alun Wyn will obviously be a big loss, both on and off the field, but will be ably replaced by Connor.

“Conor is an outstanding rugby player and is held in the highest regard with both the players and coaches. As a three-time Lions tourist, he knows what will be required as captain and I am certain he will lead the squad with excellence. He will also be well supported by an experienced leadership group.

Adam Beard has been called up to Warren Gatland's squad
Adam Beard has been called up to Warren Gatland’s squad

“We plan for Adam and Josh to join up with the touring party before we depart for South Africa tomorrow evening.”

Gatland confirmed that Jones, who has played the last nine Lions tests, will return to Wales on Sunday when the squad leaves for South Africa.

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