June International Tours

Jones ruled out of British and Irish Lions tour


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British and Irish Lions tour manager Gerald Davies on Friday announced that replacement forward Ryan Jones has been ruled out of the tour of South Africa on medical grounds.

Jones joined the squad in Cape Town on Thursday as a replacement player but a series of medical examinations highlighted that he was not fit to play on the tour.

The Wales captain, controversially left out of the tour when the side was initially selected, underwent the same routine medical testing as all replacement players joining the tour.

It led to the team’s medical staff requesting a further examination by an independent neurosurgeon. This was due to a concern over the player’s recent medical history that included two significant knocks to the head while playing for Wales on the recent tour to North America.

On the advice of the neurosurgeon it was determined that it was not safe for Jones to undertake any physical contact for a mandatory three weeks. This is in line with IRB Regulation 10.1 on concussion.

It was anticipated that Jones would fly out of Cape Town on Friday.

Lions head coach Ian McGeechan has stated that at this stage no further replacement player will be required.

“I am very disappointed that on medical grounds I have been told that I am not currently fit enough to play an active role on the tour,” said Jones, who featured as a replacement when the Lions toured New Zealand four years ago.

“I was looking forward to getting involved with the rest of the lads but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. It has been an up and down year for me in many ways.

“I feel okay at present but obviously I have to listen to the neurosurgeon’s advice in terms of my health, and to ensure I make a full recovery.”

Jones is the third Lions players this week to return home after wing Leigh Halfpenny had a recurrence of a quad injury which saw him join the side two weeks late, and flank Stephen Ferris sustained a knee injury against the Free State Cheetahs.

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