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Welsh Lions duo share thoughts on Jones' miracle comeback attempt

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

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Lions assistant coach Neil Jenkins and hooker Ken Owens have aired their thoughts on the incredible bid by Alun Wyn Jones to recover from his June 26 shoulder dislocation in the hope of being fit enough to play some part of the three-Test series versus the Springboks which starts in Cape Town on July 24.


Jones was left behind in the UK following his serious injury in the Lions’ pre-departure win over Japan in Edinburgh, 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 Warren Gatland that Jones was making an incredible bid to try and produce a comeback miracle and that he was already in training to make that happen. 

Gatland revisited the topic on Monday after he named his team to face South Africa A this Wednesday in Cape Town, revealing that Jones was back in training this week with Wales and that a decision on whether he could be recalled by the Lions would soon be taken. 

Jenkins, the Lions and Wales assistant coach, warmed to this comeback theme on Tuesday just 17 days after the injury happened at Murrayfield. “I said it when the injury happened nothing is beyond Al. 

“There is no doubt he is an incredible person/player on and off the pitch. Incredibly diligent, works extremely hard and if he does get injured, I know how hard he works to get himself back as quickly as possible. Nothing surprises me with Al. If he is able to join us at some point in time it certainly would be a huge boost for the squad and for everyone involved, there is no doubt about that.”


Lions front-rower Owens also joined the chorus willing Jones back to fitness ahead of the Test series against the Springboks. “If he manages to do it, it would be absolutely incredible. But for me, I have known him a long time and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all, the way he recovers and what he does for himself in the position it is a credit to him and why he has been playing at the top level for so many years. 

“There has been a suggestion that he may come out, if he does it would be a huge lift for the squad. Conor had done an absolutely fantastic job since being made captain after the Japan game in Edinburgh and Alun Wyn coming back would only add to that. 

“The voice and the leadership group that we have here and around the squad, pre-getting injured he was absolutely phenomenal and what he has achieved in the game, it can only be a positive for us if he does come out leading into this Test series.” 



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