British & Irish Lions player ratings vs Japan: Dan Biggar impresses as Alun Wyn Jones injury overshadows win

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The British and Irish Lions eased to a 28-10 warm-up win over Japan at Murrayfield, but lost Alun Wyn Jones to a shoulder injury which will rule the captain out of the tour to South Africa.

On the eve of the squad’s departure from these shores, the Lions are coming to terms with the loss of talisman Jones and are now considering their replacement options at lock and skipper.

The Wales forward departed just eight minutes into the match after being hurt during a ruck clear-out by James Moore, and although he returned to the field to be with his team-mates at the final whistle, the Lions’ worst fears had already been realised.

The Lions ran in four tries against Japan in a comfortable start to their tour, but the afternoon was overshadowed by the loss of Jones and another alarming injury, this time to Justin Tipuric.

Lions player ratings

15) Liam Williams - 7

A very solid showing from the Wales full-back in a strong 65-minute shift after a few weeks out. Was solid under the high ball and played with his head up, looking to run at Japan.

14) Josh Adams - 7

Scorer of the first try of the tour, in the right corner.

13) Robbie Henshaw - 8

A superb all-round performance. Got on the scoresheet, but also carried hard and popped up all over the pitch. The Lions’ top tackler with 16.

12) Bundee Aki - 8

Good early carry in the buildup to Adams’ try, and brought real presence to the Lions’ midfield. A statement performance.

11) Duhan van der Merwe - 7

Got himself around the place, as illustrated by his try in the right corner and eight carries. Struggled a bit with Kotaro Matushima – which may excite Cheslin Kolbe. But then again, who doesn’t struggle with Matsushima?

10) Dan Biggar - 8

The official Player of the Match made a very good start in the competitive race for the No10 jersey. Brought a fizzing energy, and saved a try after Murray was charged down. Kicked his goals and got the attack going nicely.

9) Conor Murray - 6

Despite the one charge down, he box-kicked well, and plotted the Lions round the park nicely. A couple of passes went astray, too.

1) Rory Sutherland - 6

An early engagement at the scrum and a second half penalty blotted his copybook, but an otherwise solid showing from the Scot.

2) Ken Owens - 7

Took over the captaincy when Jones went off and did not do much wrong. Threw well, and got around the park. Could become an even more important figure on the tour in the coming days.

3 Tadhg Furlong - 8

A delightful player who is back to the top of his game. Made eight tackles and got his hands on the ball.

4) Iain Henderson - 7

Plenty of tackles for the Ireland lock, who also ran the lineout well. A solid showing, elevated in the context of Jones’ unfortunate injury.

5) Alun Wyn Jones - N/A

Taken off after just seven minutes with an injury to his left wrist. Has to be a big concern for Warren Gatland.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

6) Tadhg Beirne - 8

Sunning break for his try, and stunning left boot a few minutes later. Excellent in every other respect too, nailing the basics.

7) Justin Tipuric - 6

Off after little more than 20 minutes, although Gatland did not appear too concerned by what he saw.

8) Jack Conan - 8

A seriously encouraging performance from the Ireland No8. Some were surprised at his selection in the squad, but he could push Faletau hard. Gatland revealed that he had a tight hamstring in the buildup, making his showing even more impressive.

Selected subs

19) Courtney Lawes - 7

Called into action early because of Jones’s injury and was excellent, especially at the lineout. Spilled over the line in the second half.

20) Taulupe Faletau - 6

Also got a longer run out than he might have expected, as Tipuric went off. Solid if unspectacular out of position on the open side.

21) Ali Price - 7

Got a massive cheer off the bench, and provided some spark.

Read More

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British & Irish Lions 28-10 Japan: Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric injuries overshadow Murrayfield win

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