Alun Wyn Jones revealed his pride at following some of the icons of British & Irish Lions history after being named as captain for this summer’s tour to South Africa.
The 35-year-old, who made his Lions debut on the 2009 tour of South Africa, was chosen to skipper Warren Gatland’s squad after a season which saw him lead Wales to a Six Nations triumph ahead of favourites England and France.
Alun Wyn Jones, who led Wales to the Six Nations title earlier this year, has clocked up a world record 157 Tests for his country and the Lions.
“It’s obviously a huge privilege, but to be selected in the squad is initially what you want to hear as a player and to have the armband as well is a privilege, and the fact the names who have gone before and what they’ve achieved in this jersey and for their respective Home Nations.
“Initially, the draw is to get into the squad and then anything can happen from there. I’ve got a huge amount of pride to add this to the CV, but there is a lot of work to do when we get out there and face all of the games ahead,” said Jones.
Warren Gatland, who served as forwards coach against the Springboks in 2009 before leading the Lions on their two most recent tours to Australia and his homeland, had little doubt over choosing the Ospreys second row as captain.
“I think it was the easiest decision in terms of looking at how Wales did in the Six Nations, the respect he has as a player from so many people and what he has achieved in the game,” Gatland told Sky Sports.
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British and Irish Lions 2021 full squad
Captain: Alun Wyn Jones (Wal)
Forwards: Tadhg Beirne (Ire), Jack Conan (Ire), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Eng), Tom Curry (Eng), Zander Fagerson (Sco), Taulupe Faletau (Wal), Tadhg Furlong (Ire), Jamie George (Eng), Iain Henderson (Ire), Jonny Hill (Eng), Maro Itoje (Eng), Wyn Jones (Wal), Courtney Lawes (Eng), Ken Owens (Wal), Andrew Porter (Ire), Sam Simmonds (Eng), Rory Sutherland (Sco), Justin Tipuric (Wal), Mako Vunipola (Eng), Hamish Watson (Sco).
Backs: Josh Adams (Wal), Bundee Aki (Ire), Dan Biggar (Wal), Elliot Daly (Eng), Gareth Davies (Wal), Owen Farrell (Eng), Chris Harris (Sco), Robbie Henshaw (Ire), Stuart Hogg (Sco), Conor Murray (Ire), Ali Price (Sco), Lewis Rees-Zammit (Wal), Finn Russell (Sco), Duhan van der Merwe (Sco), Anthony Watson (Eng), Liam Williams (Wal).