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Murray named new Lions captain for SA tour

Ireland’s Conor Murray has been handed the captaincy for the Castle Lager Lions Series after Alun Wyn Jones was ruled out of the tour due to injury yesterday, while Warren Gatland has also called up two Welshmen as late replacements for the trip to South Africa, reports SA Rugby.

Ospreys lock Adam Beard and Cardiff flanker Josh Navidi have been called into the British & Irish Lions 37-man touring squad to replace Tour captain Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric, both of whom sustained Tour-ending shoulder injuries during the Lions’ 28-10 win over Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday.

Murray, who plays scrumhalf for Munster and started against Japan in Edinburgh, takes over as Tour captain from Jones.

“We’re all incredibly disappointed for Alun Wyn and Justin,” said Lions Head Coach, Warren Gatland.

“The timing of these injuries seem particularly cruel given we fly to South Africa on Sunday, but unfortunately they’re part of the game.

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“Alun Wyn will obviously be a big loss, both on and off the field, but will be ably replaced by Conor.

“Conor is an outstanding rugby player and is held in the highest regard with both the players and coaches. As a three-time Lions tourist, he knows what will be required as captain and I am certain he will lead the squad with excellence. He will also be well supported by an experienced leadership group.

“We plan for Adam and Josh to join up with the touring party before we depart for South Africa tomorrow evening.”

Exeter Chiefs quartet, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Stuart Hogg, Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds will also link up with the 37-man touring party as planned in Edinburgh on Sunday 27 June.

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