British & Irish Lions

Aiming at heart of beast: Lions stretch 'lock leader' tradition in SA

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Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones
Getty Images

The Springboks’ special, time-honoured reputation for wanting to dominate the physical stakes - most relevantly in the engine room - seldom goes unnoticed by touring British and Irish Lions teams.

That level of alertness has very much stayed in place for the 2021 tour, too, following confirmation on Thursday that tough-grafting, pockmarked and ultra-experienced Welsh lock Alun Wyn Jones will lead the visitors on their three-Test safari here in mid-winter.

It had seemed apparent for weeks, certainly if the British press was to be believed, that a second-rower would lead the Lions’ charge: either of 35-year-old Jones or England’s nine-years-younger, renowned athletic specimen Maro Itoje who duly tours anyway.

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