Alun Wyn Jones could re-join the British and Irish Lions squad in South Africa just weeks after being ruled out of the tour due to a dislocated shoulder.
Lions captain Jones suffered what looked to be a tour-ending injury eight minutes into the game against Japan, and did not travel to South Africa with Warren Gatland’s squad the following day.
However, Gatland was speaking about Jones’ recovery progression at a press conference today and indicated that the influential Welshman could join up with the Lions in South Africa.
Alun Wyn Jones.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) June 26, 2021
Lions coach Warren Gatland on Alun Wyn Jones’ ‘remarkable recovery’.
“There’s a possibility. He’s back in training and we’re waiting for the medical reports from him to see what happens with that,” Gatland said of a potential Jones re-call, via WalesOnline.
“A few weeks ago, we didn’t think it was an option. He’s been back fully training with Wales. He’s training this week with them and he’s doing a double session with them tomorrow.
“We’ll see what the outcome of that is. He’s made a remarkable recovery. The assessment initially was that it wasn’t as bad as they first thought but that’s a real positive.
“It would be a boost to this squad, having someone of his experience and calibre to come back into the squad.”
Potential call-up for Ireland’s Ronan Kelleher.
Gatland also indicated that Ireland hooker Ronan Kelleher could be in line for a Lions call-up, after the 23-year-old impressed in his country’s wins against Japan and the USA.
Kelleher had trained with the Lions before their game against Japan while they were in Jersey, as hookers Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie were both unavailable due to club commitments.
The Irishman wasn’t officially part of the Lions’ squad, but that could be about to change, as Gatland admitted that he has concerns over potential injuries to his hookers.
While none of the hookers originally selected are currently carrying injuries, the test series with the Springboks will likely be an attritional one.