The British and Irish Lions have been dealt another injury blow with the news that Ryan Jones has been ruled out of the rest of the tour just one day after arriving in South Africa. The Wales captain was called up earlier this week to replace the injured Stephen Ferris but failed to pass a fitness test.
Despite being tipped to captain the Lions at one point last year Jones missed out on selection to the original touring party following a disappointing season for both club and country. However, the 29-year-old could have been in with a shout of challenging Tom Croft for a Test place on the blindside of the scrum.
Jones was also called up as a replacement to the Lions squad back in 2005 and ended up playing in all three Test matches against the All Blacks. But the Lions medical staff decided that Jones was unfit to play rugby for at least three weeks following a bang on the head that he received on Wales North American tour.
The Wales captain spoke to reporters about the injury: "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," said Jones. "I was looking forward to getting involved with the rest of the lads, but I guess it wasn't meant to be."
The injury to Jones leaves the Lions short of back-row options with Ireland's Dennis Leamy possibly the only player who could come close to filling either Ferris or Jones' shoes.