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Alun Wyn Jones recalled by the Lions 18 days after shoulder injury

By Liam Heagney

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Tour skipper Alun Wyn Jones has completed a remarkable recovery, getting asked by Lions boss Warren Gatland to rejoin the squad in South Africa just 18 days after he suffered a seemingly tour-ending shoulder dislocation in the win in Edinburgh over Japan. Jones lasted just seven minutes of that match and was immediatedly ruled out of the tour, but he is now back in contention for the Test series and could play in this Saturday’s final warm-up versus the Stormers in Cape Town.

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A Lions statement on Wednesday lunchtime read: “Warren Gatland has today confirmed that tour captain Alun Wyn Jones will return to the Lions touring party in South Africa. The Welsh lock, who dislocated his shoulder during the game against Japan at Murrayfield on June 26, will fly into Cape Town on Thursday.

Following a training session with the Wales squad at the Vale of Glamorgan training headquarters on Tuesday and subsequent medical assessment this morning, the second row was passed fit to return to the tour in South Africa.”

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“We are delighted to welcome Alun Wyn back,” said Gatland. “It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows Alun Wyn that since injuring his shoulder against Japan, he has done everything he can to get himself back.

“It’s remarkable really when you consider it is just 18 days since he left us in Edinburgh. He has been training with the Wales squad at the Vale since last week and yesterday he had a proper hit out. Following assessment from the medical staff this morning we are satisfied he is fit to return.

“He is obviously raring to go and from what I have seen on video and the feedback we have received, he has certainly not been holding himself back in training. He was really getting stuck in yesterday. It’s a massive boost for the Lions to welcome a player of Alun Wyn’s stature back.”

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Jones was left behind in the UK following his serious injury in the Lions’ pre-departure win over the Japanese, Adam Beard taking his place in the squad at second row and Conor Murray succeeding him as tour captain for the eight-match adventure in South Africa. However, it emerged on July 1 in Johannesburg via Gatland that Jones would be making an incredible bid at home in Wales to produce a comeback miracle and that he was already in training to make that happen. 

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Alun Wyn Jones recalled by the Lions 18 days after shoulder injury

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