Alun Wyn Jones admits he’s unable to put into words just how special it feels to have led the British & Irish Lions to glory in Australia earlier today.
The Ospreys and Wales lock captained Britain and Ireland’s elite for the very first time in the series decider as the Lions ended 16 years of hurt in stunning style in Sydney.
“It’s a pretty indescribable feeling. If you ask me on Tuesday or Wednesday what it was like, I’ll probably be able to describe it to you, but at the minute I’m outside the moment if you like,” said Jones.
“There was a lot said about selection in the week but we’ve proved that northern hemisphere rugby is in pretty good shape, especially with all the fans who came out.
“On Tuesday and Wednesday we probably had two of the worst training days we’ve had all tour and we fronted up today and the scoreline reflected what we wanted to do, which was to represent our four nations with pride.
“We wanted to win the collision and the breakdown. Australia did that in the first Test and we did in the second and it was going to come down to that again. The scrum had been going well all tour but we hadn’t had the change out of it that we wanted in the first two Tests, but credit to the front row boys and replacements for giving us that consistency this evening.”
Jones was quick to pay tribute to the part played by all eight replacements and the one-man advantage he says the Lions enjoyed thanks to the support of the thousands upon thousands of fans who sang their hearts out at the ANZ Stadium.
“In 2009, going into the third Test, we were playing for pride. Going into this one, it was dubbed ‘the decider’,” added Jones, who featured in all three internationals in South Africa and did the same here in Australia.
“The pressure came on in the middle 20, middle 30. We conceded that try just before the half and two penalties then early in the second. The boys showed a lot of character and (it was great) to see that come to fruition when the likes of Conor (Murray) came on at nine and Faz (Owen Farrell) at 10 and we went into the ascendancy – we kicked on with the guys that came off the bench.
“I was digging in the last 20, I’m not afraid to say that, and when you have boys coming on, picking you up and carrying you on, it’s a funny feeling.
“Out of the three Tests, there was probably the most yellow there tonight but you wouldn’t have thought so by the noise that everybody in red made. The fans that are here are die hard, we know that everybody that comes out here spends a lot of money. They were the 16th man tonight and that means a lot to this squad.”