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Jones out of Lions tour after one day

13/06/2009 06:25:42 AM Comments (0)

The replacement back-row forward Ryan Jones was on Friday ruled out of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa because of injury worries, just a day after arriving in the country.

The Wales captain Jones joined the Lions here on Thursday but a series of medical examinations showed that he "was not currently fit to play".

"Ryan Jones underwent the same routine medical testing as all replacement players joining the tour and it led to the team's medical staff requesting a further examination by an independent neurosurgeon," the Lions said in a statement.

"This was due to a concern over the player's recent medical history that included two significant knocks to the head while playing for Wales during the recent tour to North America.

"On the advice of the neurosurgeon it was determined that it was not safe for Ryan Jones to undertake any physical contact for a mandatory three weeks."

It is anticipated that Jones will fly out of Cape Town on Friday, with head coach Ian McGeechan adding that at this stage no further replacement player will be required.

The Welsh Rugby Union has expressed its disappointment on behalf of Jones, who was initially examined by the Wales medical team in the United States and was passed fit to travel home.

A subsequent full medical examination of Jones was re-scheduled for South Africa when he was called up to join the Lions.

"I am very disappointed that on medical grounds I have been told that I am not currently fit enough to play an active role on the tour," said Jones, who won three Lions caps after also being called up as a replacement for the 2005 tour to New Zealand.

"I was looking forward to getting involved with the rest of the lads, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. It has been an up-and-down year for me in many ways.

"I feel okay at present, but obviously I have to listen to the neurosurgeon's advice in terms of my health and to ensure I make a full recovery."

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