Alun Wyn Jones returns as British & Irish Lions captain for first South Africa test

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the British & Irish Lions in their first test against South Africa after recovering from a dislocated shoulder. David Rogers/Getty Images

Alun Wyn Jones has been named as captain for the British & Irish Lions' first test against South Africa, it was announced on Wednesday.

Jones returned to the squad last week, having recovered from a dislocated shoulder he sustained in the Lions' first warm-up match against Japan on June 26. This will be his 10th successive Test appearance for the Lions.

After impressing against the DHL Stormers last Saturday, Ali Price has been named as scrum-half ahead of Conor Murray, who was relieved of tour captain duties following the return of Jones.

Stuart Hogg has been named as fullback ahead of Liam Williams, with the Welshman appearing on the bench.

In the back row, Tom Curry will start at openside with Courtney Lawes taking the other flank. Hamish Watson has been named as a replacement.

"In my four Tours as a Lions coach, this was by far the hardest Test selection I have been involved in," Lions' coach Warren Gatland said in a statement.

"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. When we played South Africa 'A' last week we probably took a bit too long to get into the game, something we can't afford to do that again this weekend.

"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.

"While the stands will be empty in Cape Town Stadium, we know Lions fans from across the home nations will be cheering us on back home. We'll do our best to get the win."

Starting XV

Stuart Hogg, Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Ali Price, Wyn Jones, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje , Alun Wyn Jones (Capt.), Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Jack Conan

Replacements:

Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Liam Williams.