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Maro Itoje jokingly asks Alun Wyn Jones for recovery plan

Maro Itoje jokingly asks Alun Wyn Jones for recovery plan
© Reuters
Wyn Alun Wyn Jones has returned from a serious injury.

Maro Itoje is to tap up Alun Wyn Jones for his recovery techniques after joking that the British and Irish Lions captain has returned to camp fully fit and with a new growth of hair.

Jones has been dubbed 'Lazarus' by his Lions team-mates after taking only three weeks to heal from the dislocated shoulder suffered against Japan last month.

Now that he has completed what Warren Gatland is describing as a "miracle recovery", Jones he is available to lead the tourists into Saturday's first Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Itoje, his likely second-row partner against the Springboks, insists the world's most capped player has undergone a restorative comeback in more ways than one.

"Alun Wyn looks like a 24-year-old. I don't know what recovery method he's using but somehow his hair's growing back on the top of his head as well!" Itoje said.

"Whatever recovery he's using I need to get myself on it. Luckily my hair's on point! He's looking good.

"He is a man of a lot of experience, he's the tour captain and has that kind of presence about him.

"It's great to have him back. He was desperate to be back and desperate to do whatever he can to help make the tour successful."

Alun Wyn Jones dislocated his shoulder at Murrayfield on June 26
Alun Wyn Jones dislocated his shoulder at Murrayfield on June 26 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Itoje and Jones formed the lock pairing for the final two Tests against New Zealand in 2017 and four years on, it is the destructive England talisman who tops the engine room pecking order.

"I wouldn't get into the semantics of that, but what I do know is that this time around I'm much more experienced," Itoje said.

"First time around it was a whole new experience for me being a Lion, first time playing a Lions test series, first time being in the Lions environment.

"Now I'm a much more rounded player and I think I have a better understanding of the game and I probably have a bit more of an understanding about how I can influence the team in a positive way.

"I have a responsibility to try, depending on selection, to help the team go forward and I have a responsibility to try and energise the team.

"I probably know much more about my responsibility than I did four years ago."

Itoje, an Arsenal fan from north London, will visit family in Nigeria once the series against South Africa ends on August 7.

"Rugby is not really a thing in Nigeria. I would be surprised if there is any support for the Lions there," he said.

"My uncle actually texted me the other day and he said I should bring him a black Lions jersey, he said he likes that one.

"Ironically, the last time I was in Nigeria in 2018, I was driving and I saw this little boy running on the road with a Lions training top on.

"I was like 'where the hell did this boy get this from?'. I'm not too sure if he knows exactly what it is, but at least the message is travelling."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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