The world’s most capped player has become the first Lions captain in history not to leave these shores with his team and he will miss the trip along with his Ospreys and Wales colleague, Justin Tipuric, who picked up a head knock in Edinburgh.
They unfortunate injuries forced Lions head coach Warren Gatland into making some quick decisions on replacements. He nominated Munster and Ireland scrum half Conor Murray as the tour captain place of Jones and replaced his two injured players with two of Wayne Pivac’s Wales squad.
Jones’ Ospreys and Wales second row partner Adam Beard will now join the Lions tour party, along with Blues back row man Josh Navidi. It means Pivac will now have to find two replacements for his Welsh squad, who kick-off their summer international series against Canada in Cardiff on Saturday, 3 July.
“We’re all incredibly disappointed for Alun Wyn and Justin. The timing of these injuries seem particularly cruel given we fly to South Africa tomorrow, but unfortunately they’re part of the game,” said Gatland.
“Alun Wyn will obviously be a big loss, both on and off the field, but will be ably replaced by Conor. 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.”
The Exeter Chiefs quartet, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Stuart Hogg, Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds left London after the Premiership final defeat to Harlequins to link up with the 37-man touring party as in Edinburgh ahead of departure to South Africa.
Dan Biggar was voted the man of the match in the win over Japan as the Lions won their warm-up match with a convincing display. The Wales outside half converted all four of the tries scored by the Lions, including one in the right corner by Blues wing Josh Adams.
Scarlets hooker Ken Owens took over the captain’s arm band when Jones left the field.