Captain dislocates shoulder

Major blow as skipper Jones ruled out of Lions tour

Blow: Alun Wyn Jones goes off injured (pic: SNS Group).

British and Irish Lions 28 Japan 10
Murrayfield Stadium

Skipper Alun Wyn Jones is out of the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa after dislocating his shoulder against Japan.

The hugely influential Welshman suffered the injury after just seven minutes while being cleared out of a ruck and was escorted from the pitch by medics.

With the squad jetting out tomorrow for the eight-game tour, including three Tests against the Springboks, head coach Warren Gatland now faces a race against time to find a replacement in time.

“The shoulder was dislocated, they got it back in pretty easily,” said Gatland. “We’ll get it scanned, but with a dislocated shoulder it’s never good news but it’s looking like we’ll have to replace him. We need to call someone in, get them PCR tested and hopefully get them on the flight tomorrow

“It’s very disappointing. He’s been around rugby long enough but he’ll be gutted. This is very disappointing for him. It’s one of those things you have to put behind you and move on as quickly as you can possibly can.”

Gatland has further injury concerns over Justin Tipuric, who was also forced off with a shoulder problem.

Scotland winger Duhan van der Merwe scored one of four tries in the win over the World Cup quarter-finalists, Josh Adams, Tadhg Beirne and Robbie Henshaw also going over.

It was the first time the Lions had played at Murrayfield – and their first game on home turf since 2005 – the fixture acting as a curtain-raiser for the upcoming tour.

The 67,000-capacity stadium hosted 16,500 spectators for the match, the first time fans had been allowed inside the ground in 15 months.

Duhan van der Merwe scores the Lions’ second try (pic: SNS Group).

There were huge queues for beer before kick-off and an announcement during the first half that the bars would not be opening at half-time met with loud boos from the stands.

Former Scotland international Andy Nicol hit out at the running of the event, taking to Twitter to say: “So Murrayfield has run out of beer for the @lionsofficial match!! Are you kidding me??

“A stadium that normally caters for 67,000 can’t deliver a match day experience for 16,500!! What a joke! Shame for fans paying huge amount and for staff having to deal with disgruntled fans.”

The SRU rejected those claims, responding in a statement: “Due to unprecedented pre-match sales, the decision was taken to not open bars at half-time, given the limited availability of stock around the stadium.

“This was to ensure pre-agreed social distancing guidelines could be maintained and avoid crowding. As per the match agreement, bars were scheduled to be closed from the end of half-time.

“The stadium did not run out of beer and all decisions were taken with crowd safety and social distancing in mind.”

British and Irish Lions: Williams; Adams, Henshaw, Aki, Van der Merwe; Biggar, Murray; Sutherland, Owens, Furlong, Henderson, AW Jones (capt), Beirne, Tipuric, Conan. Replacements: George, W Jones, Sinckler, Lawes, Faletau, Price, Farrell, A Watson.

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