Wales great Alun Wyn Jones has the honour for the tour to South Africa

British & Irish Lions captain 2021

Alun Wyn Jones has been named as the British & Irish Lions captain 2021. The Wales great is heading out on his fourth Lions tour, having featured prominently in the series of 2009, 2013 and 2017. The lock was the runaway favourite for the role after leading Wales to the 2021 Six Nations title.

The 35 year old is the world’s most capped player with 157 Test appearances – which includes nine Tests for the Lions.

The news of Jones’s ascendency to skipper came as Lions head coach Warren Gatland named his 36-player group for the tour. The Lions’ schedule kicks off with a Test in Edinburgh, with Japan arriving at Murrayfield on 26 June (the same day as the Gallagher Premiership final).

Related: The British & Irish Lions squad 2021

Jones will be the oldest Lions captain of the professional era, at 35 – thought he will not become the oldest ever Test Lion. Neil Back was 36 years and 174 days old when he faced New Zealand with the Lions in 2005.

Head coach Gatland has stated in recent months that he is prepared to leave the tour captain out of the Test XV if others are in better form. Back in 2017, skipper Sam Warburton was tour captain but was only on the bench during the opening Test against the All Blacks – Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony was skipper that day. Warburton started and led the Lions in the next two Tests.

What do you make of this selection for the Lions captain? Let us know your thoughts by emailing or get in touch via social media.

Can’t get to the shops? Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet. Subscribe to the print edition for magazine delivery to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.