Lock Jones to lead surprise-packed Lions in first Springbok Test

Lock Jones to lead surprise-packed Lions in first Springbok Test

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the British and Irish Lions in the first Test against South Africa at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday after a remarkably quick recovery from a shoulder injury.

Alun Wyn Jones Lions - AFP

The Wales lock and the most capped player in the sport's history, who only arrived in South Africa last Tuesday after recovering from the injury will lead a team which contains several surprises.

"In my four tours as a Lions coach, this was by far the hardest Test selection I have been involved in," coach Warren Gatland said on Wednesday.

Scotland scrum-half Ali Price was selected ahead of Ireland's Conor Murray, who was named tour skipper when Jones was initially ruled out because of injury.

Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, with only six international starts, was preferred to fellow England front-rower Jamie George and Ken Owens of Wales.

Jack Conan of Ireland edged out Taulupe Faletau at No. 8 in another selection seemingly based on tour form, with England pair Tom Curry and the towering Courtney Lawes completing the loose forward trio.

Team (15-1)

Stuart Hogg; Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Maro Itoje; Tadhg Furlong, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Wyn Jones

Replacements: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Liam Williams

Coach: Warren Gatland (NZL)

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