Alun Wyn Jones Brings Lions Close To Tears In Final Act As Captain Following Injury
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Sport can be a cruel mistress at the best of times and this couldn’t have been more evident than it was on Saturday afternoon when Alun Wyn Jones’ Lions tour was ended before it even had a chance to begin.
Jones has hit thousands of rucks in his career but after just seven minutes of play against Japan, a freak incident at the breakdown saw the captain get caught awkwardly, resulting in a dislocated shoulder, and a dream shattered.
Picked for the fourth successive tour, this was set to be his first time as skipper, having narrowly missed out on more than one occasion. And at 35-years-old, the world’s most capped international will likely never wear the famous Lions red shirt again.
But in typical fashion, Jones let by example on Saturday evening after the match, presenting the players with their jerseys after the game, hiding his pain and putting the squad first. A selfless act from a man bord to lead.
“He spoke very eloquently and very well at the cap presentation,” Lions assistant coach Robin McBryde told us.
“He wished everybody the best and just got on with the job.
“It was tough for all concerned really. I know Jason Leonard was close to shedding a tear, if you want to use him as some sort of barometer.
“When Alun Wyn speaks, it’s always from the heart.
“It was very heartfelt. There was no working around it how disappointed he was obviously. It’s a big thing.
“But he kept his emotions in check. He was able to get his words out and just do the job in hand.
“It sums him up really with regard to putting the team first and it’s not about me, it’s about the team, it’s about us and just go out there and give a good account of ourselves really.”
An absolute warrior. No doubt we’ll see him back on a pitch for Wales and the Ospreys very soon.