Alun Wyn Jones expressed his immense pride in his team after making his final appearance for the British and Irish Lions.
The Springboks narrowly defeated the Lions 19-16 to clinch the test series, after an impressive first half showing from the tourists in which they probably should have built up a healthy lead.
Lions captain Jones was speaking to Sky Sports directly after the match and commended his team on a much-improved performance despite the loss.
“I’m very proud of this bunch and very conscious of what we represent.” ?
Captain Alun Wyn Jones reflects on the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa after their narrow defeat in Cape Town…
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‘I’m very proud of the bunch and conscious of what we represent.’
“Obviously I’m hugely disappointed with the result but I think the endeavour and the turnaround was there from last week,” Jones started.
“We were in it until the death and obviously we had an opportunity at the end. I’m just very proud of the bunch and very conscious of what we represent and what everything means, but I’m hugely disappointed like I said.
“We wanted to come out in the second half with more of the same and I think we did that probably after the early exchanges. Then the to-ing and fro-ing with the penalties probably broke up the game.
“It was probably similar to what we’ve seen in patches in previous games, but obviously trading in those threes wasn’t what we wanted to do. We wanted to kick on and we didn’t necessarily do that.”
Alun Wyn Jones reflects on the hardest tour yet.
While Jones’ Lions career has ended in disappointment, the Wales veteran can be proud of his efforts having been originally ruled out of the tour due to a dislocated shoulder.
The 35-year-old returned to action just three weeks after his supposedly tour-ending injury, and started in all three tests against the reigning world champions.
When asked to reflect on his career in a Lions jersey, Jones was under no illusions that this tour was the hardest, after upsetting the odds to just take to the field against the Springboks.
“This one was probably the hardest in particular. I had to work harder than ever just to get out here. I know a lot of these guys will be on the next tour so I look forward to watching them,” Jones said.