Stephen Ferris has questioned Alun Wyn Jones’ ability to perform against the Springboks after dislocating his shoulder less than three weeks ago.
Jones has been named on the bench for the Lions against the Stormers tomorrow, and will be considered for the first test match against the Springboks the following Saturday.
Former Ireland and Lions flanker Ferris was speaking on the RugbyPass Lions Fanzone and questioned whether playing Jones against South Africa would be a smart move so soon after a serious injury.
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Stephen Ferris on Alun Wyn Jones.
“You want your captain to be number one on the team sheet. That’s Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll for Ireland, for the England the Martin Johnsons and [Lawrence] Dallaglios. When it comes to Wales’, it’s Alun Wyn Jones,” Ferris said.
“But I don’t think it is Alun Wyn Jones at the minute. He hasn’t played rugby in 18, 19 days after dislocating a shoulder.
“How can he come in and play test match rugby against the most physical and powerful team in world rugby in South Africa, and expect to perform?
“It just for me, doesn’t work. He needs to get game time but we’re running out of games here.”
The Welsh legend’s remarkable recovery.
While Jones was expected to be out for six to eight weeks after dislocating his shoulder, the Wales medical team cleared him to rejoin the Lions squad in South Africa.
Warren Gatland said before Jones had linked up with his squad in Cape Town that he would not be considered for the game against the Stormers, but after being cleared by the Lions’ medical team, he has been named on the bench.
Jones would have been expected to start the first test against the Springboks before his injury against Japan, but the tour captain is in a race against time to prove his match fitness by then.