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Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 07:53 UK

Lions' Jones ready to tame Beast

Date: Saturday, 27 June Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Kick-off: 1400 BST (1500 local time)
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, live text commentary and score updates on BBC Sport website
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Adam Jones has taken over from Phil Vickery as Lions tight-head prop
Adam Jones has taken over from Phil Vickery as Lions tight-head prop

Adam Jones says he will not let the British and Irish Lions down after being picked to start Saturday's second Test against South Africa in Pretoria.

The Wales and Ospreys prop has been preferred to Phil Vickery, having impressed after replacing the tight-head in the 26-21 first Test defeat.

Vickery had struggled against Springbok loose-head Tendai Mtawarira in Durban.

"I am very excited to be starting on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld. It is dreams-come-true stuff," said Jones.

"Everyone can see he [Mtawarira] is a big, strong bloke. He hasn't been playing there that long so I will have to pull any tricks out of the bag to stop him pushing me backwards.

"I need to back my technique, back my ability. I have got over any demons in the scrum I had in the past and I have played against him before."

Those demons refer to the torrid time that Jones was given in a Wales shirt at the hands of New Zealand's Carl Hayman in November 2006, which wrecked his confidence.

We've been told about the all-Welsh front row of 1955 and it would be nice to match or better their achievements

Lions and Wales hooker Matthew Rees

But since then the 28-year-old Osprey has bounced back, toned up and has now deservedly earned a Test start amongst the playing elite of Britain and Ireland.

Vickery has seen himself drop out of the Lions 22 completely - Andrew Sheridan taking the prop spot on the bench - and the disappointment of being denied the chance to make amends must be huge.

But Jones revealed that the Englishman has had only words of support for his Welsh team-mates' imminent battle on Saturday against Mtawarira, nicknamed 'The Beast'.

"There is not a prop in world rugby who hasn't had an 'outing'," said Jones.

"Phil has been the life and soul of the tour party and he was straight back in on Monday morning bouncing around.

"He said: 'Well done, just make sure you stuff him'."

Hooker Lee Mears has also paid the price for the Lions' struggling scrum and drops out of the match 22 along with his England front-row colleague Vickery.

That sees Matthew Rees - another second-half replacement who impressed in Durban - promoted to join compatriots Jones and Gethin Jenkins in the front row.


It will be the first time since 1955 that the Lions have fielded an all-Welsh front row in a Test match, when Billy Williams, Bryn Meredith and Courtenay Meredith lined up against the Springboks - the series ending in a 2-2 draw.

"It is a huge honour to play for the Lions and we are aware of the incredible history of the jersey," Rees said.

"We've been told about the all-Welsh front row of 1955 and it would be nice to match or better their achievements."

In all the Lions have made five changes for the second Test, with Simon Shaw replacing Alun Wyn Jones at lock, Luke Fitzgerald preferred on the wing to Ugo Monye, and Rob Kearney coming in for the injured Lee Byrne at full-back.

South Africa: F Steyn (Sharks); JP Pietersen (Sharks), A Jacobs (Sharks), J de Villiers (Stormers), B Habana (Bulls); R Pienaar (Sharks), F du Preez (Bulls); T Mtawarira (Sharks), B du Plessis (Sharks), J Smit (Sharks), B Botha (Bulls), V Matfield (Bulls), S Burger (Stormers), J Smith (Cheetahs), P Spies (Bulls).
Replacements: C Ralepelle (Bulls), D Carstens (Sharks), A Bekker (Stormers), D Rossouw (Bulls), H Brussow (Cheetahs), J Fourie (Lions), M Steyn (Bulls).

British and Irish Lions: R Kearney (Leinster and Ireland); T Bowe (Ospreys and Ireland), B O'Driscoll (Leinster and Ireland), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues and Wales), L Fitzgerald (Leinster and Ireland); S Jones (Scarlets and Wales), M Phillips (Ospreys and Wales); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues and Wales), M Rees (Scarlets and Wales), A Jones (Ospreys and Wales), S Shaw (Wasps and England), P O'Connell (Munster and Ireland, capt), T Croft (Leicester and England), D Wallace (Munster and Ireland), J Heaslip (Leinster and Ireland).
Replacements: R Ford (Edinburgh and Scotland), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks and England), AW Jones (Ospreys and Wales), M Williams (Cardiff Blues and Wales), H Ellis (Leicester and England), R O'Gara (Munster and Ireland), S Williams (Ospreys and Wales).

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see also
Phillips confident Lions can win
26 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
South Africa 28-25 Lions
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Martyn Williams column
25 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Injured Byrne out of Lions tour
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Habana plays down altitude factor
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Banned Hines misses out for Lions
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Springboks recall flanker Burger
23 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Emerging Springboks 13-13 Lions
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Lions eye changes for second Test
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South Africa 26-21 Lions
20 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Southern Kings 8-20 Lions
16 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Western Province 23-26 Lions
13 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Sharks 3-39 Lions
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Royal XV 25-37 Lions
30 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions squad selector
07 May 09 |  Rugby Union
2009 Lions: Squad & results
09 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union

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