Jones relishing Lions experience

British & Irish Lion Ryan Jones is struggling to come to terms with the latest twist in his "incredible" season. [more]

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British & Irish Lion Ryan Jones is struggling to come to terms with the latest twist in his "incredible" season.

Jones was named man-of-the-match on his Lions debut as the tourists beat Otago 30-19 in Carisbrook on Saturday.

The 24-year-old, summoned from Wales’ tour of North America last week, effortlessly transferred his blistering Six Nations form into the Lions arena – and the result was a spectacular arrival on rugby’s world stage.

"The advice my father (Steve) gave me was to have ‘no regrets’, in what is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be here," he said.

"I just wanted to give it 110 per cent. Clive asked me to do a job, and I just went out there and played. A week ago, I wasn’t here, so this is a dream come true.

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"I only started my Test career last November, and having won a Grand Slam with Wales, it wouldn’t have been a bad season had it just ended there! But this is incredible.

"I have always been told that if you are good enough, then you will make it, but my goal this season was just to get into the Ospreys regional team," Jones added.

"It’s hard to put into words, really. You really crave the respect of these players, and to get a Lions shirt is magnificent."

Jones scored the Lions’ second try after centre Will Greenwood grabbed an opportunist touchdown just before half-time, but it was the pack that underpinned a solidly efficient team performance.

Flanker Simon Easterby, making a stamina-sapping second start in four days, and prop Graham Rowntree were not far behind Jones in terms of work-rate, while Otago had no answer once substitutes Danny Grewcock, Steve Thompson, Andrew Sheridan and Matt Dawson all appeared en bloc midway through the second period.

Otago, conquerors of the Lions four times from their past six attempts, threatened another notable win when scrum-half Danny Lee scampered over for a 32nd-minute try.

But Greenwood’s effort set the tourists up for a competent, disciplined second-half showing.

"It was nice to win what was a very tough fixture," Sir Clive Woodward said.

"We are in a good position, and I am looking forward to the week in Christchurch – it’s going to be a special place this week, with thousands of Lions arriving."

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