The scrum-half takes over with Alun Wyn Jones out of the tour


Lions name Conor Murray captain

In the wake of the Alun Wyn Jones injury against Japan, scrum-half Conor Murray has been named as the new captain of the British & Irish Lions, while Wales lock Adam Beard comes in to replace Jones. Back-rower Josh Navidi also comes into the squad, replacing Justin Tipuric who also suffered a tour-ending shoulder injury in the match at Murrayfield.

Related: Lions defeat Japan in tour opener

“We’re all incredibly disappointed for Alun Wyn and Justin,” said Lions head coach Warren Gatland of the switches. “The timing of these injuries seem particularly cruel given we fly to South Africa tomorrow, but unfortunately they’re part of the game.

“Alun Wyn will obviously be a big loss, both on and off the field, but will be ably replaced by Conor.

“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.

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

As it stands the Exeter Chiefs quartet of Luke Cowan Dickie, Stuart Hogg, Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds – who all played their part in a thriller as we saw Harlequins become English champions – will link up with the touring party as expected, in Edinburgh on Sunday 27 June.

The Lions play their first tour match in South Africa against the Emirates Lions, on 3 July.

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