Jones is latest to be hit by tour jinx


LIONS TOUR:THE INJURY jinx that has dogged the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa struck again when Wales captain Ryan Jones was ruled out of the remainder, one day after arriving.

Jones has not satisfied the team medical staff that he is fully fit to play a part on the remainder of the 10-match trip after arriving in Cape Town on Thursday. He was summoned to replace knee injury victim, Ireland’s Stephen Ferris.

The Ospreys man admitted: “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.”

He picked up a head injury while playing for Wales against the USA and retired after 20 minutes of that match. It is understood the Lions will not send for a further player to take over from Jones, who will now fly home without playing any part on the trip.

Jones underwent the same routine medical testing as all replacement players joining the tour, and it led to the squad’s medical staff requesting a further examination by an independent neurosurgeon. He added: “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.”

Jones became the third player to be ruled out of the tour this week after the withdrawals of Ferris and Welsh winger Leigh Halfpenny. Jones won three caps for the Lions in New Zealand in 2005.