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Conor Murray Hails 'Unbelievable' Alun Wyn Jones Return To Lions Tour

Conor Murray Hails 'Unbelievable' Alun Wyn Jones Return To Lions Tour

Conor Murray's brief spell as Lions tour captain is at an end, with Alun Wyn Jones deemed fit enough to return to the camp - but Murray had nothing but praise for Jones, who he said had made an "unbelievable" recovery.

Jones was named captain for his fourth Lions tour, but his time with the squad appeared over after he dislocated his shoulder in the first warm-up game against Japan at Murrayfield. Munster man Conor Murray was named as his replacement, but news broke today that Alun Wyn Jones had made an astonishing recovery, and will now fly out to South Africa to rejoin the squad.

Conor Murray praises Alun Wyn Jones' recovery

Murray was interviewed by Sky Sports after the Lions' narrow defeat to a very strong South Africa 'A' squad in Cape Town and, naturally, the conversation moved towards his soon-to-end tour captaincy.

The aim is to try and win a test series and to have the best guys available. Al has made an unbelievable recovery, he's an unbelievable pro. People have known that about him for his whole career. To have him back as a player and a leader around the group is gonna be unbelievable.

Unbelievable recovery!

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If Murray was disappointed by the impending end to his Lions captaincy, he certainly didn't show it in his interview with Sky. He will now be looking over his shoulder at rival scrumhalves Ali Price and Gareth Davies, as the competition for test XV spots heats up.

Alun Wyn Jones' return to the squad means a reignition of the competition for second-row starting spots, but England's Maro Itoje has been named in nearly every pundit's predicted XV for Saturday week. He also spoke to Sky after the game in Cape Town, and he was similarly impressed by the Welshman's recovery.

He's a man of immeasurable experience. He's the most capped rugby player in history. He's gonna add his experience, add his clout and add his edge.

Of course [it puts pressure on the other second rows], I want the competition, I want the best team available, I wanna compete. All those decisions aren't up to me, they're up to the man who gets paid the big bucks, Warren.

So, I'll leave that to him but from my point of view I just want to do whatever I can to help this team be successful.

Jones will arrive in South Africa alongside Leinster and Ireland hooker RonΓ‘n Kelleher, who will become the eighth Irish member of the Lions squad after being called up as front row cover on Wednesday.

The return of Alun Wyn Jones to the Lions squad is undoubtedly a massive boost, even if some like Murray and Itoje may be looking over their shoulders uncomfortably.

SEE ALSO: Bryan Habana Calls For Changes To Lions Schedule Amid Civil Unrest In South Africa

Bryan Habana Lions


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Eoin Harrington

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