The lock has been training with Wales and is now flying out to South Africa
Confirmed: Alun Wyn Jones rejoins Lions squad
Alun Wyn Jones will rejoin the British & Irish Lions 2021 squad after coming through a training session with Wales.
The Wales lock, who was announced as Lions captain in May, didn’t travel with the squad to South Africa after dislocating his shoulder just seven minutes into their opening match against Japan at BT Murrayfield.
He was replaced by Adam Beard and wasn’t expected to play any further part in the tour, with Conor Murray named as captain.
However, Lions coach Warren Gatland revealed earlier this week that Jones had been training with Wales and could rejoin the squad. That has now been confirmed after he came through a session on Tuesday and was passed fit to return to the touring party following a medical assessment.
Gatland said: “It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who knows Alun Wyn that since injuring his shoulder against Japan, he’s done everything he can to get himself back.
“It’s remarkable really when you consider it’s just 18 days since he left us in Edinburgh.
“He’s been training with the Wales squad since last week and yesterday he had a proper hit out. Following assessment from the medical staff this morning we’re satisfied he’s fit to return.
“He’s obviously raring to go and from what I’ve seen on video and the feedback we’ve received, he’s certainly not been holding himself back in training. He was really getting stuck in yesterday.
“It’s a massive boost for the Lions to welcome a player of Alun Wyn’s stature back.”
Related: Weighing Up an Alun Wyn Jones Lions Return
The Lions are also considering bringing Ireland’s Ronan Kelleher out to provide extra depth at hooker. The Leinster front-rower spent two weeks training with the squad in Jersey.
Meanwhile, South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has spoken of the prospects of talismanic No 8 Duane Vermeulen recovering from injury in time to face the Lions.
Erasmus said: “His bubble will work very much the same (as) Alun Wyn Jones’ bubble, because Alun Wyn is apparently close to joining them.
“Duane is maybe in the mix for the last Test match. So, the way Alun Wyn will join the Lions’ bubble, Duane will very much do the same with us, if both of them obviously are fit.
“We have protocol for that which is guided by that MAG, the medical advisory group. Yes, there is an outside chance for Duane, as with Alun Wyn. We are not banking on that.”
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