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Alun Wyn Jones announced as captain of the British and Irish Lions

Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones has been announced as the captain of the British and Irish Lions for this summer’s tour of South Africa.

The Wales captain had been widely tipped to lead the Lions against the Springboks, but Jones has now been officially announced as the captain of the touring side.

Jones has toured with the Lions on three occasions already, having gone on the 2009 tour of South Africa, the 2013 tour of Australia and the 2017 tour of New Zealand.

The Wales veteran turned 35 last September, which makes him the oldest player to captain the Lions in the professional era. Jones has won nine caps for the Lions so far, having played in all their test matches since 2009.

Jones is also the most-capped player in international rugby, having won 148 caps for Wales and nine for the Lions, to make 157 in total. Former All Black Richie McCaw is in second place with 149 caps.

The 35-year-old has plenty of history with head coach Warren Gatland, having played under the Kiwi coach for 12 years with Wales, as well as on the last two Lions tours.

Six Nations success with Wales.

Alun Wyn Jones has been the favourite to lead the Lions in South Africa this summer ever since he captained his country to an unlikely Six Nations title in March.

Wales had finished in fifth place in the 2020 Six Nations, and again came fifth in the Autumn Nations Cup, and were expected to perform poorly again in this year’s championship.

However, Wales claimed a narrow win against Ireland in the opening round of the Six Nations after Peter O’Mahony was red carded early on in the first half, and grew in confidence each week as they went on to beat Scotland, England and Italy.

France denied Wales a Grand Slam in the dying seconds in Paris, but the Welsh were crowned as Six Nations champions after Les Bleus failed to beat Scotland the following week.

Jones leadership was praised after the unlikely Six Nations win, as he helped to turn around an out-of-form Wales side who had been struggling to find their feet under new head coach Wayne Pivac.

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