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Bittersweet for Lions

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The Lions’ victory over Japan on Saturday was an ideal run out in many ways, but injuries to Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric will have dampened the mood somewhat.

I guess injury in rugby is inevitable, but the dislocated shoulder suffered by captain Jones is really the last thing Warren Gatland needed.

That he has made a swift call in terms of replacing the injured pair is, I suppose, commendable. That he has chosen Adam Beard to replace Jones as a lock and Connor Murray to replace him as tour captain is, however, somewhat unfathomable.

The likes of James Ryan and Johnny Gray must be scratching their heads in bewilderment at Beard’s selection, while not every pundit would have Murray as the no.1 scrum half on tour, let alone pick him as captain. 

Perhaps 24 hours to reflect would haver been a better idea as, for me, Gatland has lost a unique opportunity to have Maro Itoje lead a British and Irish Lions squad to South Africa.

Total Flanker – the older I get, the better I was


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