British and Irish Lions: Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones to captain Lions squad

Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones will be confirmed as captain of the British and Irish Lions when head coach Warren Gatland names his 36-man squad on Thursday for the tour of South Africa.

Jones, 35, has been the favourite for the role since leading Wales to the Six Nations title in March. 

He will be going on his fourth Lions tour, after being a key part of the series in 2009, 2013 and 2017. 

The Lions squad is confirmed at 12:30 BST on Thursday.

Jones has won a world record 157 international caps and has started the last nine Lions Test matches, including captaining the team to victory in the decisive third Test against Australia in Sydney in 2013. 

And while he is set to face stiff competition for a Test match place in the second row, Gatland has shown he is prepared to leave the tour captain out of the starting XV if required.

In 2017, skipper Sam Warburton was on the bench for the first Test against New Zealand with Peter O’Mahony the captain, before Warburton returned to lead the side in the second and third Tests.

However Jones’ form in the Six Nations, as well as his aura, experience and remarkable longevity have convinced Gatland he is the man to succeed the retired Warburton.

“Coming from a team that has done reasonably well in the Six Nations, and having the respect of other players in the squad, that is fairly important,” Gatland told the BBC last month.

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