Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones insists he will fight for his place despite being handed the armband after coach Warren Gatland admitted all places are up for grabs
- Warren Gatland has said Alun Wyn Jones has no divine right to a starting place
- The Welshman was named captain of the side by Gatland ahead of the tour
- Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes and Iain Henderson will provide competition at lock
- Wyn Jones has stressed the need for rivalry and says he will fight for his position
Lions skipper Alun Wyn Jones insists he will fight for the right to start in the Test team.
Warren Gatland has stated that the skipper has no divine right to a starting place – and Jones is taking nothing for granted.
Lock competition is stiff with the likes of Jones, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill and Tadhg Beirne.
Alun Wyn Jones insists he will fight for the right to start in the Test team despite being captain
‘You get a lot of congratulations for being captain but you want to be in that Test team,’ said Jones.
‘There is Competition across the squad. There is a plethora of options, including hybrids that can cover back-row as well. That’s what you want. A strong squad so that a strong Test team comes through.
‘That list is lot longer than just 37. There is a host of others who would give a limb to be involved. To be in that squad is hugely special and it won’t be wasted.’
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland wants his squad to be ready for a battle
World champions South Africa will be a tough test for Warren Gatland’s squad, starting in June
After being handed the armband, Jones said: ‘It’s surreal, I’ve always been fully aware of all those involved for the Lions, not just the captains.
‘To have your name tagged on to the end of those names is surreal and I totally understand the expectations of the four nations, of the fans.
‘It (tour) has already been unique with the will it, won’t it happen, and when will the squad be announced.
‘The jeopardy that has already happened means we will have a siege mentality from the off because of the forced bubble and fact that we will have to spend so much time together.’