Lions set to decide whether Alun Wyn Jones rejoins squad after shoulder injury

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Lions Set To Decide Whether Alun Wyn Jones Rejoins Squad After Shoulder Injury
Alun Wyn Jones should know by Wednesday if he is able to rejoin the Lions tour. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent

The British and Irish Lions will see how Alun Wyn Jones responds to a double training session on Tuesday before making a decision on whether to fly him to South Africa.

Jones’ remarkable recovery from the dislocated shoulder that appeared to have ended his tour in the opening match against Japan on June 26th has reached a decisive phase.

The sport’s most capped player is training with Wales this week and, if his shoulder withstands Tuesday’s run-outs, he will rejoin the Lions squad in time for Saturday’s clash with the Stormers.

Alun Wyn Jones dislocated his shoulder against Japan (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Warren Gatland is likely to make a call on Wednesday morning once any after-effects from training are known.

“I know Al’s doing some stuff back home and we’ll obviously see how that goes first. I’m sure Warren will make a call when needed,” kicking coach Neil Jenkins said.

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“Nothing’s beyond Al, there’s no doubting that. He’s an incredible person and player, on and off the pitch. He’s incredibly diligent and works extremely hard.

“If he does get injured I know how hard he works to get himself back as quickly as possible.

“Nothing surprises me with Al and if he is able to join us at some point in time, it would certainly boost him and everybody involved with the squad.”

Conor Murray has acted as the Lions’ replacement tour captain (Andrew Milligan/PA)

If Jones returns to the Lions squad it would be a stunning development that would catapult him into contention to start the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town on July 24th.

Named as the original tour captain, the Wales skipper was replaced by Conor Murray when it seemed as though he would play no further part in the expedition against the world champions.

“It’s good to see Alun amongst the environment and he’s obviously got an end goal for it,” Wales defence coach Gethin Jenkins said as his team continued preparations for their second Test against Argentina.

“We’ll see how he gets through this (Tuesday) afternoon. He’s got to get through one more session and then there’s a few decisions to be made.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow, not to go on the tour after that Japan game. He’ll be doing everything he can to get back out there.”

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