CAPE TOWN - Veteran Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones has been chosen as the captain of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.
Coach Warren Gatland made the announcement on Thursday, ahead of the squad unveiling later.
Jones, 35, is the most capped Test player in the sport with 157 in total for Wales and the Lions, and will travel to SA for his fourth tour with the best players of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
“Obviously very, very proud, very privileged. It’s obviously a huge privilege, but being selected in the squad was essentially what you want to be hearing as a player, and the armband as well as this is, like I say, a privilege – with the fact that you know the names that have gone before, and what those players have achieved in this jersey and obviously for their respective home nations.
“We (him and Gatland) had a quick chat and (I) accepted obviously. Like I say, a huge amount of pride to be able to probably add this to the CV, but obviously there’s a lot of work to do.”
Gatland will announce the rest of the squad later on Thursday, but said earlier that there will be 37 players instead of the expected 36 “in order to cover all our bases” for the eight-match tour, which includes three Tests against the Springboks on July 24, July 31 and August 7.
The first tour match will be against the Stormers in Cape Town on July 3.