Men Behind the Tour: No.5 – Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones is a man of few words, he's not one to shout the house down but after being made captain for the British & Irish Lions' decider with Australia, he claimed he would lead by example - and that's precisely what he did. [more]

Men Behind the Tour: No.5 – Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones is a man of few words, he’s not one to shout the house down but after being made captain for the British & Irish Lions’ decider with Australia, he claimed he would lead by example – and that’s precisely what he did.

One of just six Lions to start all three Tests, Jones had the extra responsibility of skippering the side in Sydney in the absence of injured tour captain Sam Warburton.

In the opening stages in Sydney the Lions dominated the Qantas Wallabies in terms of their physicality and intensity – and second row Jones was the fore, making crunching tackles, leading chases and flying into rucks.

He made 13 tackles in that match, missing just one, and almost contributed with a crucial turnover. Hr must also take a huge amount of credit for helping the Lions keep a cool head when Australia trimmed a 19-3 deficit to 19-16.

And Jones admitted that the Lions’ intense approach was all part of the game plan.

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"On Wednesday and Thursday we had two of the worst training days of the seven weeks and we fronted up,” he said.

“The scoreline reflects what we wanted to do for the changing room which is not give up and represent our four countries with pride.

"Obviously, we wanted to win the collisions and the breakdown. It was going to come down to that. In fairness, they came back at us at the start of the second half but we came through and I thought the backs did pretty well.

"We've been going pretty well in the scrum. We haven't quite got the change we wanted in the first two Tests but that's credit to Australia in fairness. Credit to the front row – the starts and the bench – for their consistency."

There was even more of a burden on Jones in Tests two and three, with Paul O’Connell fracturing his arm in the closing stages of the first match – not to take away from Geoff Parling, who came in and performed admirably, but any side would miss the Irishman in the form he was in.

But Jones took it all in his considerable stride.

“Sometimes, a little bit of pressure is a good thing,” added Jones. “As long as we rise to it, and don’t try too hard, we will be in a good place.”

And it’s fair to say that in Sydney, the Lions certainly were.

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