Gatland looked visibly shaken in press conference after losing AWJ
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland speaks to the press following his team’s 28-10 victory over Japan at Murrayfield. Alun Wyn Jones left the field early on in the match and will miss the entire series, a brutal blow for Gatland and his men to sustain.
The Kiwi looked visibly shaken and downcast following the news, his usually steely exterior shed with the shock of losing his tour captain just 7 minutes into their warm-up game.
He also has to contend with the loss of Justin Tipuric, who from a playing point of view is arguably a bigger loss to the team. It should also be taken into account that Hamish Watson suffered a head knock and will have to undergo return to play protocol.
Adam Beard and Josh Navidi have been called into The British & Irish Lions 37-man touring squad to replace Jones and Tipuric. Jones and Tipuric both sustained tour-ending shoulder injuries during the Lions 28-10 win over Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium today for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.
Conor Murray takes over as Tour captain from Jones.
“We’re all incredibly disappointed for Alun Wyn and Justin,” said Lions Head Coach, Warren Gatland.
“The timing of these injuries seem particularly cruel given we fly to South Africa tomorrow, but unfortunately they’re part of the game.
“Alun Wyn will obviously be a big loss, both on and off the field, but will be ably replaced by Connor.
“Conor is an outstanding rugby player and is held in the highest regard with both the players and coaches. As a three-time Lions tourist, he knows what will be required as captain and I am certain he will lead the squad with excellence. He will also be well supported by an experienced leadership group.
“We plan for Adam and Josh to join up with the touring party before we depart for South Africa tomorrow evening.”
Exeter Chiefs quartet, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Stuart Hogg, Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds will also link up with the 37-man touring party as planned in Edinburgh today.
Tags: Warren Gatland