Lions v South Africa: Captain Alun Wyn Jones completes injury return with selection for first test

Alun Wyn Jones' remarkable return from injury is complete, after he was named captain of the British & Irish Lions side to face South Africa at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Lock Jones had initially been ruled out of the tour, after dislocating his shoulder in the warm-up victory over Japan on June 26, but with the injury less severe than first feared, he was able to re-join the squad in Cape Town last week and played 30 minutes against the Stormers.

Ali Price has been named ahead of Conor Murray at scrumhalf, and along with wing Duhan van der Merwe and fullback Stuart Hogg, forms a trio of Scottish players in a Lions starting XV for the first time since the 1997 tour of South Africa, where assistant coach Gregor Townsend played.

Dan Biggar got the nod at flyhalf ahead of Owen Farrell, with Robbie Henshaw and Elliot Daly the centre pairing. Anthony Watson is the other wing.

Jones will partner Maro Itoje in the second row, with props Wyn Jones and Tadhg Furlong, and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie ahead of them in the scrum.

Courtney Lawes and Tom Curry are the flankers, with Jack Conan a surprise pick at No.8 over Taulupe Faletau, who is not in the match-day 23 at all.

Welshman Jones' 10th Lions cap moves him alongside Gareth Edwards in the all-time list, and behind other greats of the game in Graham Price (12 caps), Mike Gibson (12), Dickie Jeeps (13) and Willie-John McBride (17).

"In my four tours as a Lions coach, this was by far the hardest test selection I have been involved in," coach Warren Gatland says.

"We couldn't have asked for more from the players so far. They've all put their hands up and made picking a starting XV incredibly difficult.

"In truth, we would have been happy with any number of different combinations across the 23, however, we're very pleased with the side we've settled on.

"We know what we're coming up against on Saturday - it's going to be an arm wrestle, there's no doubt about it. We'll need to front up physically and be ready to go from the first whistle.

"We need to make sure we play in the right areas of the field, not give them easy territory and take our chances when they come."

British & Irish Lions: 1-Wyn Jones, 2-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 4-Maro Itoje, 5-Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 6-Courtney Lawes, 7-Tom Curry, 8-Jack Conan, 9-Ali Price, 10-Dan Biggar, 11-Duhan van der Merwe, 12-Robbie Henshaw, 13-Elliot Daly, 14-Anthony Watson, 15-Stuart Hogg

Replacements: 16-Ken Owens, 17-Rory Sutherland, 18-Kyle Sinckler, 19-Tadhg Beirne, 20-Hamish Watson, 21-Conor Murray, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Liam Williams