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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 17:55 GMT
Jones 'flattered' by Lions link
Wales captain Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones is skipper of both Wales and The Ospreys
Ryan Jones admits he is 'flattered' at being hailed as a potential Lions captain for the 2009 South Africa Tour.

Jones has the Midas touch, leading Wales to three straight wins in his first Six Nations campaign as skipper.

The 26-year-old has also guided The Ospreys to the Heineken Cup quarter finals in his first year as captain.

"Of course being linked as a possible Lions captain is flattering," said Jones. "The Lions is not for 18 months so means nothing until the call comes."

Former England and Lions prop Brian Moore hailed Jones' leadership qualities.

He wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph: "Wales benefit from the leadership on and off the field of Ryan Jones, who is a potential Lions leader."


Jones impressed during Wales' successful Grand Slam win in 2005 but confirmed his arrival on the world stage during the otherwise ill-fated Lions Tour to New Zealand.

The back-row forward was one of a selective few who returned from the infamous 'blackwash' with his reputation enhanced, let alone in tact.

Jones, though, was an 11th hour call on that tour as he replaced the injured Lawrence Dallaglio after initially getting overlooked by coach Sir Clive Woodward.

Jones captaincy credentials are impressive but he said: "You can't take anything for granted in sport.

"Last time there was talk for years of me getting a Lions place but it didn't come initially.

"I've only played eight game since returning from 11 months out injured but if I can stay fit and healthy then we'll see what happens."

Just three Welshman have enjoyed the privilege of leading the Lions - all in New Zealand.

John Dawes was captain for the Lions' only series victory in New Zealand in 1971 while Phil Bennett led the Lions in 1977.

Gareth Thomas replaced Brian O'Driscoll as Lions skipper in 2005 when the Irishman was injured in the opening minutes of the First Test and ruled out for the entire tour.

But Jones remains naturally cautious as he said: "A lot can happen in sport between now and the summer of 2009.

"Just look at the Welsh team as an example as we've gone from not reaching the World Cup quarter-finals to being on the verge of something special.

"So I'm not getting too excited and carried away."

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