Would you bring back the lock for the tour if you could?
Weighing Up an Alun Wyn Jones Lions Return
Earlier in the week it was suggested by British & Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland that injured captain Alun Wyn Jones‘s tour-ending injury may not have been as bad as first assumed and that the lock could make a “miracle” return in time for the Test series against South Africa.
Which prompts the question: would you bring the legendary forwards straight back into the Test mix if you could?
When it was put to Lions kicking coach Neil Jenkins, he said: “If anyone could get back to play a Test series at this level, he could.
“There’s no doubting that. If he can get himself right, that would be a huge plus for us. If someone of that calibre becomes available and he’s able to represent us, it’s a no-brainer.
“I have never written him off in any way, shape or form. Nothing surprises me with Al. He’s an incredible player both on and off the pitch.”
There is no doubting the respect Jones commands. He is the record holder for caps in the men’s game (157 caps for Wales and the Lions) and was away to fly out for his fourth tour, before a shoulder injury struck in the seventh minute of action against Japan. It would have been his second trip to South Africa in Lions red.
However, no matter how much you poo-poo the criticism of his age or whether the veteran is impactful, physically, as he used to be, there is no denying he would face a race against time to get back to Test standard in the rehab room.
All the while the Springboks will have been playing Tests – South Africa beat Georgia on return to Test stage yesterday. Is it a level of rugby you can parachute back into? That’s without getting into the issue of whether other leaders have come to the fore organically in Jones’s absence or wether a caste of locks has generated undeniable form by the time the Tests roll around. And all tours are different.
Then again, we have seen latecomers arrive and make a huge impact on the Test series – Alex Corbisiero in 2013, anyone?
Of course, he could always come back without playing (though he’d maybe hate that idea) but if there was ever a player who had the sheer will and determination to force their way back into contention, it is the Welsh great. He is an undeniable force. An undeniable force battling the clock.
We would love to know what you think of his chances of returning, if you would want that, and what impact you think he can have if he did. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on social media.
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