British and Irish Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones has been ruled out of the tour of South Africa after suffering a dislocated shoulder in the 28-10 victory over Japan.

Jones had to be replaced in the eighth minute of the warm-up Test at Murrayfield on Saturday after sustaining the injury while being cleared out of a ruck as he attempted to get his hands on the ball.

Lions head coach Gatland confirmed after the match that Jones will not fly out to face the world champions.

The New Zealander said: "He's dislocated his shoulder.

"Prognosis of him being fit and very, very best-case scenario is the first Test [in Cape Town on July 24]. He's going to go and get a scan but we’re looking like we’re going to have to replace him."

Gatland added: "It’s pretty much made [the decision that Jones will not travel to South Africa], I was speaking to the physios, I’ve spoken to Alun Wyn.

"He understands, very best case scenario, he may get back for the Test but we need to call someone in and hopefully get them on the flight tomorrow.

"It's very disappointing, he’s been around rugby long enough, he's going to be gutted, I'm very disappointed for him. It's one of those things, you’ve got to put that behind you and move on as quickly as possible you can."

Gatland will consider who to replace lock Jones with in the squad and a new skipper.

He added: "We are discussing a couple of names at the moment, unfortunately I got called away to do a press conference.

"I'm going back to finalise that after I've spoken to you guys, we’ll make that call, have a discussion about who comes in and potentially who’s going to take over as tour captain as well."

Justin Tipuric also suffered a shoulder injury early on but Gatland is unsure of the extent of the damage.

The former Wales boss said: "It was a sting in the shoulder. We're going to check, to make sure there's no nerve damage.

"If there was nerve impingement that could rule him out - at the moment, pretty sure he’s going to be okay."

A hamstring injury sustained by Jack Conan will also be checked on.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones suffered an early injury blow before three British and Irish Lions debutants scored tries in a 28-10 defeat of Japan at Murrayfield.

Jones was withdrawn in pain in the eighth minute of the first-ever Lions Test in Scotland on Saturday with what was reported to be a shoulder injury.

Justin Tipuric was also forced off with an injury in the first half of the Lions' first meeting with Japan ahead of the tour of South Africa, which Warren Gatland's side won comfortably to lift the 1888 Cup.

Josh Adams, Duhan van der Merwe and Tadhg Beirne marked their debuts with a try, while Robbie Henshaw also touched down and the excellent Dan Biggar was on target with all four conversions.

Japan, playing their first Test since losing to the Springboks in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup, entertained in the second half and were rewarded with a try from Kazuki Himeno.

There was concern for the Lions when skipper Jones was replaced early on after doing damage while trying to turn the ball over before his Wales team-mate Adams got the first points on the board.

The winger showed great feet and good strength to come in off the line and power his way over following a strong run from Bundee Aki.

Tipuric also made a concerning early exit before Van der Merwe caught Japan napping, picking the ball up from the back of a ruck and crossing all too easily.

The Lions were dominant and Ireland centre Henshaw ploughed over from close range after taking a pass from Conor Murray, with the impressive Biggar's third successful conversion increasing the lead to 21-0.

Courtney Lawes, Jones' replacement, lost control before grounding the ball when he crashed over early in the second half, but Beirne took a great line and showed a sharp turn of foot to burst through and go under the posts.

The Brave Blossoms enjoyed themselves after the break and Himeno finished following a lineout routine as the Lions defence work given a great workout with bigger tests to come.

 

Lions wait on Jones and Tipuric

It takes a lot to keep Jones down, so the sight of the lock grimacing on the deck and taking a rueful look to the skies was a worry for the Lions.

Gatland faces an anxious wait to discover the extent of the most-capped player in Test history's injury before the Lions board the plane to South Africa.

Flanker Tipuric's involvement was also brief just under a month before the first Test against the world champions in Cape Town.

 

Debut delight 

Wales winger Adams and Scotland flyer Van der Merwe wasted no time in marking their mark on their Lions bows.

Van Der Merwe, the leading try-scorer in the Six Nations this year, made 72 metres from eight carries and beat four defenders.

Adams did not see as much of the ball, but grasped his early chance, while Beirne made 49 metres from his 10 carries and won two turnovers in an eye-catching display.

There was concern for the British and Irish Lions when captain Alun Wyn Jones was forced off early in Saturday's Test against Japan.

Jones was withdrawn after doing damage while trying to turn the ball over in the eighth minute of the match at Murrayfield.

The lock appeared to injure his left wrist and walked off the field shaking his head in the warm-up match ahead of the tour of South Africa.

Jones, the most-capped player in Test history, was replaced by England lock Courtney Lawes.

The Lions start the three-match series against the Springboks at Cape Town Stadium on July 24.

Fraser Dingwall has been called up to the England squad in place of Manu Tuilagi, who has withdrawn due to injury.

The Sale Sharks centre was hurt during his side's 40-30 Premiership semi-final defeat to Exeter Chiefs last Saturday.

Tuilagi, who missed the autumn internationals last year and England's Six Nations campaign, was only three games into a return following an Achilles problem sustained last September.

Northampton Saints' Dingwall has joined up with Eddie Jones' squad ahead of the match between England A and Scotland A in Leicester on Sunday.

Jones' men then play a Test match double-header against the United States at Twickenham on July 4 and July 10.

Kyle Sinckler has been called up to the British and Irish Lions squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa, following Andrew Porter's injury.

Tighthead prop Porter has been ruled out of the series due to a toe problem, which the Ireland international sustained on Friday while in action for Leinster.

Sinckler was a big-name omission from the original selection, but Warren Gatland has now called up the England prop.

Following his omission from the 37-man squad, Sinckler had said it "didn't make sense" to him that he had been left out. He has previously toured with the Lions in 2017, when the team visited New Zealand.

The Lions squad will convene on June 13, taking on Japan in Edinburgh 13 days later before heading out to South Africa, with the tour culminating in a three-Test series against the Springboks.

"It's really bad luck for Andrew and we send him our very best wishes for a quick and successful rehab," said Gatland.

"Andrew is a young man with a big future ahead of him and I'm sure he'll be in contention again in four years' time."

And the former Wales coach hopes Sinckler proves him wrong for his initial decision to leave him out.

"As always in rugby, when there's an injury there's an opportunity for someone else," Gatland added.

"I have been very pleased to see the way Kyle has responded to initially being left out of the touring party.

"He's showed some excellent form of late and I hope he continues to stick two fingers up to me about leaving him out in the first place."

The Lions last toured South Africa in 2009, when they lost the Test series 2-1.

South Africa have named a 46-man preliminary squad for the upcoming Test series against the British and Irish Lions, and Morne Steyn has earned a recall.

Steyn, 36, scored a last-minute penalty to earn the Springboks a series win over the Lions in 2009, but has been absent from Test rugby for over four years.

Frans Steyn was also involved in that series triumph, and he too is named in the preliminary selection.

Their experience is balanced out with eight uncapped players, with Premiership side Sale having five representatives – Faf de Klerk, Lood de Jager and Coenie Oostheuizen as well as Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez.

The Springboks have not played on the international stage since they beat England in the Rugby World Cup final in November 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, they do have an injury concern over Duane Vermeulen, who sustained an ankle injury while in action for the Bulls on Friday.

The Lions' tour starts on July 3 in Johannesburg, with their three-Test series against South Africa bookending the trip.

A South Africa 'A' team will take on the Lions on July 14 in Cape Town, with the Springboks squad taken from the 46-player preliminary selection, which will be cut prior to the Test series starting on July 21.

It is the first time the Lions have visited South Africa since 2009, when they lost the series 2-1.

South Africa squad in full:

Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Damian de Allende (Munster, Ireland), Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks, England), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Dan du Preez (Sale Sharks, England), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sale Sharks, England), Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers, South Africa), Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Joseph Dweba (Bordeaux-Begles, France), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (Toulon, France), Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks, South Africa),  Elton Jantjies (Pau, France), Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers, South Africa), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Montpellier, France), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers, South Africa), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles, Japan), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers, South Africa), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears, Japan), Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers, South Africa), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat, Japan), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Sanele Nohamba (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Stormers, South Africa), Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls, South Africa), Coenie Oosthuizen (Sale Sharks, England), Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers, South Africa), Yaw Penxe (Cell C Sharks, South Africa), Handre Pollard (Montpellier, France), Cobus Reinach (Montpellier, France), Wandisile Simelane (Emirates Lions, South Africa), Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Jubilo, Japan), RG Snyman (Munster, Ireland), Rosko Specman (Toyota Cheetahs, Japan), Morne Steyn (Vodacom Bulls, South Africa), Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs, Japan), Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls, South Africa), Duane Vermeulen (Vodacom Bulls, South Africa), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers, England), Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers, South Africa).

The British and Irish Lions have confirmed a revised schedule for this year's tour of South Africa.

All eight matches will be played in either Gauteng or Cape Town to reduce the risk of disruption potentially caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Warren Gatland's side start the trip with a fixture against the Lions in Johannesburg on July 3, rather than facing an SA Invitational team which would have been chosen from players across the country.

The tourists will play three games against provincial opposition in Gauteng before heading to Cape Town, where they will play another two warm-up games ahead of the first Test.

The Lions, who will be captained by Alun Wyn Jones, will then take on the Springboks twice at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg to complete the series.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused considerable disruption to the global sporting calendar, but after discussions with our partners at SA Rugby, we are very pleased to be able to give confirmation of the revised tour schedule," said Lions managing director Ben Calveley.

"While things will undoubtedly look different to a typical Lions tour, together with SA Rugby we are determined to deliver an uninterrupted Series for the players who will take the field, as well as the many millions of people watching at home.

"We would like to thank all Lions supporters for their patience and understanding as we continue to navigate our way through the impact of the pandemic, and also extend our enormous gratitude to our commercial partners for their incredible ongoing support."

 

British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa schedule:

July 3: Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
July 7: Sharks (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
July 10: Bulls (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
July 14: South Africa A (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 17: Stormers (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 21: South Africa (First Test, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 31: South Africa (Second Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)
August 7: South Africa (Third Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)

Johnny Sexton's omission from the British and Irish Lions squad was one of Warren Gatland's "toughest decisions", the coach has admitted.

Ireland legend Sexton, the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year, was one of the surprise exclusions from Gatland's 37-man selection for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

Sexton misses out despite the fly-half playing a key role on the 2017 trip to New Zealand, with Gatland expressing some concerns over the 35-year-old's "durability" and instead calling up Dan Biggar, Owen Farrell and Finn Russell.

"There's no doubt that that was one of the toughest decisions that we had to make," said Gatland at a news conference on Thursday.

"I've got a huge amount of respect for Johnny and his quality, but it's such a pivotal position for us and it's about sending a message to the 10s that we have selected that we have the confidence and belief in them to do a job.

"When we looked at where we were going in South Africa probably the thing that kept coming back to us was Johnny's durability, being able to put a string of matches together consecutively, and big matches.

"He has been rested on a number of occasions and unfortunately that's possibly what swayed it for us in terms of us not having the confidence that he can get through what's going to be a tough, physical tour."

Billy Vunipola was also a notable absentee from the list, while other big calls saw Wales centre Jonathan Davies, England prop Kyle Sinckler and Ireland second row James Ryan left out.

However, Gatland did find room for Exeter Chiefs number eight Sam Simmonds, who has not played a Test for England since March 2018.

The Lions will face the Springboks in Tests on July 24, July 31 and August 7.

Alun Wyn Jones has been named captain of the British and Irish Lions for their tour of South Africa, leading a 37-man squad.

Warren Gatland announced his selection on Thursday ahead of the trip in July, which follows a warm-up against Japan next month.

Wales great Jones has been chosen for the leadership role having featured in the past nine Lions Tests going back to 2009, the longest run in the professional era.

Jones has already skippered the side once previously in the absence of the injured Sam Warburton in Australia eight years ago, clinching a first series win since 1997.

Elsewhere in Gatland's squad, Ireland's former World Rugby Player of the Year Johnny Sexton misses out despite playing a key role on the 2017 trip to New Zealand.

Billy Vunipola was also a notable absentee from the list, while other big calls saw Wales centre Jonathan Davies, England prop Kyle Sinckler and Ireland second row James Ryan excluded.

However, Gatland did find room for Exeter Chiefs number eight Sam Simmonds, who has not played a Test for England since March 2018.

"We believe we've picked a squad capable of winning a Test series in South Africa," Gatland - who opted for 11 Englishmen, 10 Welshmen and eight apiece from Ireland and Scotland - said following the squad announcement.

"Selecting a Lions squad is never easy and, in many ways, this has been the most challenging selection I have been involved in.

"Over the course of the last three weeks the coaches and I have rigorously debated each position.

"We saw some outstanding performances in the recent Six Nations, so competition for places has been tough with some incredibly tight calls to make. 

"However, we are very happy with the squad we have assembled and look forward to meeting up in Jersey in just over a month's time to start our preparation to take on the world champions.

"We've left out some very talented players which gives an indication to the strength of this squad and we know how important that stand-by list will be.

"Being selected for a Lions tour is the greatest honour for a British and Irish player and I congratulate everyone named today."

The Lions will face the Springboks in Tests on July 24, July 31 and August 7.


British and Irish Lions squad in full:

Josh Adams (Cardiff, Wales), Bundee Aki (Connacht, Ireland), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales), Elliot Daly (Saracens, England), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales), Owen Farrell (Saracens, England), Chris Harris (Gloucester, Scotland), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster, Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland), Conor Murray (Munster, Ireland), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester, Wales), Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh, Scotland), Anthony Watson (Bath, England), Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales); Tadhg Beirne (Munster, Ireland), Jack Conan (Leinster, Ireland), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland), Taulupe Faletau (Bath, Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, Ireland), Jamie George (Saracens, England), Iain Henderson (Ulster, Ireland), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England), Maro Itoje (Saracens, England), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales), Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England), Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales), Andrew Porter (Leinster, Ireland), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh, Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales), Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh, Scotland).

Alun Wyn Jones has been named captain of the British and Irish Lions for their tour of South Africa, leading a 36-man squad.

Warren Gatland announced his selection on Thursday ahead of the trip in July, which follows a warm-up against Japan next month.

Wales great Jones has been chosen as captain having featured in the past nine Lions Tests going back to 2009, the longest run in the professional era.

Jones has already skippered the side once in the absence of the injured Sam Warburton in Australia eight years ago, clinching a first series win since 1997.

George North will miss the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa after suffering a serious knee injury.

The versatile Wales back on Wednesday confirmed he sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the Ospreys' Pro14 Rainbow Cup win over Cardiff Blues on Saturday.

North will undergo surgery next week and could be out for up to nine months, ruling him out of contention for what could have been his third Lions tour.

The 29-year-old tweeted: "Sport can be cruel. We all know the risks when we take the field.

"Unfortunately I ruptured my ACL on Saturday and will need surgery next week. Heartbroken is an understatement."

It was not sealed in the fashion they would have hoped for, but Wales could belatedly celebrate Six Nations glory on Friday.

Wayne Pivac's side had missed the chance to claim a Grand Slam triumph last week in a heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to France.

But with France needing a bonus-point win by a 21-point margin in Friday's rearranged clash with Scotland - delayed due to an earlier COVID-19 outbreak - to deny Wales again, Les Bleus' loss in Paris handed them the title.

"It's a real emotional rollercoaster, the last seven days really," Wales head coach Pivac said on Saturday.

He added: "It was just different and that's what we've come to expect from this pandemic really.

"It was evident that we had to go and do something different and that was to watch us win a championship from our living room."

That was far from the only first in a tournament with its fair share of twists and turns, though, as Opta data shows.
 

MORE TRIES, MORE DRAMA

There were six tries in Friday's frantic affair at the Stade de France and that contributed to a new Six Nations record.

A total of 86 tries were scored across the 15 matches, the most in a single edition of the tournament in its history.

And Scotland's dramatic 27-23 success, sealed with an 80th-minute Duhan van der Merwe score, was a fitting end to the competition.

Eight of the 15 games were decided by margins of five points or fewer, another new benchmark.

"There were some great games," Pivac said. "It was just a shame we didn't have crowds. You can imagine how much of an atmosphere would have been generated.

"It was a good advertisement for the game and a lot of nations are heading in the right direction. It's exciting."

Van der Merwe beat two defenders in the decisive fixture and in doing so set a new tournament high of 31, surpassing Brian O'Driscoll's 30 defenders beaten in 2000.

The wing's brace also saw him become the first Scotland player to finish a Six Nations campaign as the outright leading try scorer (five).

France needed to score at least one more try in order to have a chance of snatching the championship, but they still matched their best haul of 18 from 2006.

Not all the records were quite so impressive.

Italy conceded 239 points, 34 tries and had a points difference of -184, the worst such tallies for any team in an edition of the Six Nations.
 

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Wales' title was their sixth since Italy were introduced to the tournament to form the Six Nations in 2000.

Four of their previous five had been Grand Slam successes, a record over this period they could not extend thanks to France's epic win last week.

But Wales are now only one Six Nations crown behind England's seven.

"It gives us a lot of confidence to feel like we're on the right track," the title-winning coach said. "We can't get ahead of ourselves."

This was not a tournament England will reflect on fondly, even as captain Owen Farrell became only the third man - after Ronan O'Gara and Jonny Wilkinson - to reach 500 points in the Five/Six Nations.

Eddie Jones' outfit came in as defending champions but slumped to their joint-worst Six Nations finish, coming fifth as they had in 2018.

England also lost against Ireland, Wales and Scotland in the same Five/Six Nations campaign for the first time since 1976.

At the bottom of the table, though, there was no change.

Italy have picked up the Wooden Spoon in each of the past six years, this after finishing bottom of the championship just once in the prior four seasons.

Wayne Pivac says Wales' failure to win the Grand Slam takes nothing away from their Six Nations success after they were crowned champions on Friday.

Six days after Wales missed out on the Grand Slam with a heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to France at Stade de France, Scotland denied Les Bleus the title with a stunning 27-23 victory in the final match of the tournament.

Duhan van der Merwe's second try right at the end of a thrilling contest gave Scotland a first win in Paris since 1999.

France had to claim a bonus-point victory by a margin of at least 21 points to win the title, but fell short due to an outstanding Scotland performance in tough conditions on a rainy evening.

Wales head coach Pivac had to contend with speculation over his future last year during a difficult start to his reign, but the New Zealander was celebrating on Friday.

He said: "From a Welsh point of view, we are over the moon and very happy to have won the Championship. It's just a shame we couldn't have done it together as a group last week.

"It [France v Scotland] was a hell of a game. It reminded me of last week with cards, penalties and missed opportunities. It had everything.

"It was a great game to watch and following on from last week, what a tournament it's been."

Pivac added: "We don't want to talk too much about last week – it [the Grand Slam] wasn't to be.

"It certainly doesn't take anything away from the fact a lot of hard work has been done, we've come out on top of the points table and won the tournament.

"We are very happy with how things are going at the moment in our camp and we've built nicely through the competition. Some great rugby has been played in this Championship and it's exciting times for all concerned."

Gregor Townsend felt a first win in Paris since 1999 was a fitting finale for one of Scotland's "best-ever seasons" as France missed out on the Six Nations title with a dramatic defeat.

Les Bleus had to secure a bonus-point victory in the final match of the tournament by a margin of at least 21 points to be crowned champions at Stade de France on Friday.

It was Scotland who were celebrated on a wet night in the French capital, though, and Wales took the title after Duhan van der Merwe snatched a stunning 27-23 triumph by scoring his second try of a pulsating contest right at the end.

David Cherry also dotted down in the second half before Finn Russell was shown a red card nine minutes from time for catching Brice Dulin in the throat with his leading arm, having booted 10 points on his return to the side.

Scotland started the tournament with a first win over England at Twickenham since 1983 and ended it with a long-awaited away victory against France.

Townsend's men finished in fourth spot, but the Scotland head coach believes they made great strides this season.

He told BBC One: "I'm so proud of the team. They came here with a bit of adversity with not our full squad, an injury to one of our starters [Matt Fagerson] on Wednesday, a yellow card [for Stuart Hogg], a red card, we had to come back against a very good side, but they showed courage, effort, togetherness, and skill to win.

"A great end to a really promising season for us. Even though we finished fourth, it feels like one of our best-ever seasons with the victories we've had this year and the performances tonight especially.

"That's now been the last two years we've been competitive in every game. We've grown a lot this year, grown a lot this campaign, and we've got to continue to grow over the next few years."

Scotland captain Hogg expressed his pride following a famous win, but was left with mixed feelings.

"Results at times at times have been outstanding, the performances at times have been very good, but we're probably going to be kicking ourselves in the foot with some of the losses," said the full-back.

"We're not going to get carried away, we're going to enjoy this moment and start building towards something memorable.

"I'm the captain of a very, very proud nation and we'll continue to work hard."

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