No grudge against Horwill, says Wyn Jones

NICK MULVENNEY
Last updated 13:32 04/07/2013
Alun Wyn Jones
Getty Images
ALUN WYN JONES: "I just get on with it and I am happy to shake [James Horwill's] hand after the game as well."

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Alun Wyn Jones, British and Irish Lions captain for the decisive third test against Australia, says he harbours no ill feelings towards his opposite number James Horwill despite the three stitches he received near his eye after the series-opener.

Horwill, who caught his fellow lock's face with his boot in the Brisbane test, was cited over the incident but cleared to play in the second test only to be tried again after an appeal by the International Rugby Board (IRB).

The IRB appeal failed on Tuesday and Horwill and Wyn Jones will now line up opposite each other in the second row at Sydney's Olympic Stadium as captain of their teams.

"It's become a bit of a sideshow," Wyn Jones told reporters in Noosa, Queensland after being named captain in place of injured compatriot Sam Warburton.

"I should imagine there will be some red faces somewhere [at the IRB] for appealing the initial decision and coming up with the same decision, but that's not for me to comment on.

"I just get on with it and I am happy to shake his hand after the game as well."

Although a contender for the captaincy before the tour - Lions great Martin Johnson was among those touting his credentials - Wyn Jones was a surprise selection to be third test skipper.

Most had expected Brian O'Driscoll would get the nod from coach Warren Gatland but the New Zealander instead controversially left the Irish centre out of his squad altogether.

With 75 international caps, including five for the Lions over two tours, the big, powerful and most of all passionate lock certainly ticks the "experience" box.

The 27-year-old's captaincy experience is more limited, though, and he has led his country just once in a victory over Italy in Rome in 2009, although he does skipper his provincial side Ospreys.

"I don't really want to change anything, I just want to keep going the way I have going on a personal level," Jones added.

"I'm not going to tell the backs how to kick, pass or run. It's a case for me to do what I've been doing with the rest of the pack and hopefully bring about the win."

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- Reuters

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