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Conor Murray to captain Lions as James Ryan misses out on call

Munster's Conor Murray will captain the British and Irish Lions in South Africa after Alun Wyn Jo...



Munster's Conor Murray will captain the British and Irish Lions in South Africa after Alun Wyn Jones was ruled out of the tour.

There was no call up for Ireland and Leinster lock James Ryan as Welsh duo Adam Beard and Josh Navidi were drafted into the 37-man touring squad to replace Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric.

Jones and Tipuric both sustained tour ending shoulder injuries during the Lions' 28-10 victory over Japan in a warm up match at Murrayfield.

32-year-old Munster scrum-half Murray started all three tests in New Zealand and played alongside Dan Biggar in the game against Japan.

“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 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.”

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 on Sunday 27th June.

The Lions take on the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg next Saturday.

The first test against the Springboks is on Saturday 24th July.

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