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British and Irish Lions: Maro Itoje hails Alun Wyn Jones’ powers of recovery ahead of first South Africa Test

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Maro Itoje has hailed Alun Wyn Jones’ powers of recovery and says he looks as fresh as a 24-year-old ahead of the British and Irish Lions’ first Test against South Africa on Saturday.

Jones, who dislocated his shoulder in a warm-up match against Japan at Murrayfield on June 26, is fit to take on the Springboks this weekend.

The 35-year-old managed to recover from his injury in the space of just 18 days and played 30 minutes during the Lions’ 49-3 win over the Stormers in Cape Town.

Jones is now pushing to start against South Africa, with his status as tour captain restored after Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray had initially been appointed as the replacement skipper.

“He looks like a 24-year-old,” Itoje said of Jones with a smile.

“I don’t know what recovery method he’s using, but somehow his hair has grown back on the top of his head as well!

“So whatever recovery [method] he uses, I need to get myself on it! Luckily my hair is on point, but he is looking good.

“Alun Wyn is a man of a lot of experience. Obviously he’s the tour captain and he has that kind of presence about him.

“It’s great to have him back. I know he was desperate to be back and desperate to do whatever he can to help the team be successful.”

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