Jones suffered the dislocation just minutes into the first warm-up match against Japan at Murrayfield
Credit: Stu Forster
/Getty Images Europe
Just 18 days after dislocating his shoulder, Alun Wyn Jones has been passed fit to make a remarkable return to the Lions squad in South Africa.
Warren Gatland hailed the return of the tour captain as a “massive boost” as the Lions prepare to face a fully loaded South Africa A side in what is being described as a “fourth Test.” Jones will fly to Cape Town on Thursday and could play a part in the Lions’ final warm-up match against the Stormers on Saturday. The first Test against the Springboks is on July 24.
The second row was initially ruled out of the tour when he dislocated his shoulder against Japan at Murrayfield on June 26 with scrum half Conor Murray taking over as tour captain. However Telegraph Sport reported two weeks ago that Gatland was optimistic that he could rejoin the squad for his fourth Lions tour.
And after undertaking a double training session with the Wales squad at their Vale of Glamorgan base on Tuesday followed by a medical assessment this morning, Jones was given the green light to fly out in what will act as a major psychological boost for the Lions heading into the Test series.
“We are delighted to welcome Alun Wyn back,” Gatland said. “It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who knows Alun Wyn that since injuring his shoulder against Japan, he’s done everything he can to get himself back.”
“It’s remarkable really when you consider it’s just 18 days since he left us in Edinburgh. He’s been training with the Wales squad at the Vale since last week and yesterday he had a proper hit out. Following assessment from the medical staff this morning we’re satisfied he’s fit to return.”
“He’s obviously raring to go and from what I’ve seen on video and the feedback we’ve received, he’s certainly not been holding himself back in training. He was really getting stuck in yesterday. It’s a massive boost for the Lions to welcome a player of Alun Wyn’s stature back.”